What Are the Symptoms of Spinal Meningitis?


Quick Answer

According to Cedars-Sinai, symptoms of spinal meningitis include sensitivity to light, drowsiness, headache, fatigue, fever and a stiff neck and back. Additionally, children may have a blank, staring expression; refuse to be handled or touched; have a fever with cold hands and feet; be lethargic; have difficulty waking up; or have pale, blotchy skin.

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What Are the Symptoms of Spinal Meningitis?
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Full Answer

Anyone experiencing any of these symptoms should seek immediate care, according to Mayo Clinic. Meningitis is a serious condition, and it can be caused by many things, including viruses and bacteria, all of which have different means of treatment. The only way to differentiate between the types is to go to the doctor and have a spinal fluid test performed. Viral meningitis may clear up on its own. Treatments for this type include plenty of bed rest, fluids and over-the-counter pain relievers. However, the bacterial type of meningitis requires the immediate use of antibiotics to minimize the chance of complications such as brain damage and hearing loss.

The type of antibiotic used depends on the bacteria causing the infection, notes Mayo Clinic. It is common for doctors to issue a broad-spectrum antibiotic until the exact cause is identified. Spinal meningitis is contagious, so it is important to get checked as soon as possible to keep the infection from spreading.

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