Inflammation of the meninges caused by bacteria (e.g. meningococcus, pneumococcus, hemophilus) or viruses.
Bacterial meningitis is of abrupt onset with headache, vomiting, fever, neck stiffness, and avoidance of light. Early and appropriate antibiotic treatment is essential as permanent damage may occur in some cases, especially in children.
Viral meningitis is a milder illness with similar signs in a less ill person; symptomatic measures only are required.
Tuberculous meningitis is an insidious chronic type which responds slowly to antituberculous drugs. Some fungi, unusual bacteria, or syphilis may also cause varieties of meningitis.
Related category HEALTH AND DISEASE
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