Bacterial meningitis is very serious at any age, as it can lead to brain damage, hearing loss or learning disabilities, notes the CDC. Most people who suffer from meningitis recover, but meningitis can cause death.
Young adults most often develop meningitis from the bacteria neisseria meningitidis or streptococcus pneumoniae, notes the CDC. Older adults most often develop meningitis from these bacteria as well as listeria monocytogenes. Fever, headache and a stiff neck may be symptoms of meningitis, but vomiting and nausea, confusion, and sensitivity to light are also possible symptoms. In the later stages of meningitis, seizures and coma are known to occur. People who suspect that they have meningitis should see a doctor immediately.