When not treated immediately, meningitis is a disease that can be life-threatening. To prevent that, identifying the meningitis symptoms will be a lot of help. Here we identify the various signs and symptoms of meningitis.

Meningitis is a disorder wherein the meninges, the protective membranes that cover the spinal cord and the brain become inflamed. The causes of meningitis are usually infections from bacteria, viruses and other organisms. There are also some that are caused by drugs although these rarely occur. Bacterial meningitis is the most serious type of meningitis, which according to studies is fatal 20 to 30% of the time. This is a medical emergency since the progress is very rapid, with death occurring within 24 hours or even less.

Severe headache is the most common meningitis symptom. Studies say that this happens 90% of the time, especially in cases of bacterial meningitis. This is usually followed by nuchal rigidity or stiff neck wherein you are unable to flex your neck forward. Fever and chills are also common meningitis symptoms, with your temperature usually very high. In some, vomiting can also happen. Vomiting for meningitis cases is characterized as projectile, vomiting that is very forceful.

Photophobia, the fear of bright lights and phonobia, the fear of loud noises are also common meningitis symptoms. Other symptoms include confusion, seizures and other forms of altered mental status. A localized weakness that is usually felt at the face or the loss of sensation is also a sign of meningitis. Although it is unlikely, there will be some who will experience joint pain and swelling as well as rashes that looks like bruises.

There is a classic triad of symptoms that medical personnel use in the diagnosis of meningitis. These are nuchal rigidity, altered mental status and a sudden onset of high fever. When all these three are present, there is a high probability that a person has meningitis. However, these do not always occur in people with meningitis since there are also other signs and symptoms. But once you experience any of these three, better consult your physician immediately so that proper treatment will be given to you.

Meningitis symptoms usually show within the first 24 hours on the onset of the disease. This usually happens to about 25% of those who are afflicted with this disease. For the others, there will be a gradual showing of symptoms that can happen within a day to a week. For those who are currently taking antibiotics for the treatment of a current infection, the meningitis symptoms will take a longer time to develop. For the symptoms of fungal meningitis like HIV, these will take several weeks to develop.

Meningitis can be treated and further complications can be avoided if one knows how to identify the signs and symptoms. Knowing the various meningitis symptoms and the time that they are developed, you will be able to know when to go to the doctor. Remember not to ignore these meningitis symptoms and to seek for the proper treatment as soon as you can.

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For more information on Different Types of Diseases, Symptoms and Diagnoses, Please visit: Meningitis Symptoms and Bacterial Meningitis.