Symptoms of bacterial
meningitis usually appear suddenly. Symptoms of viral
meningitis may appear suddenly or develop gradually over a period of days. For
example, the symptoms of viral meningitis after mumps may take several days or
weeks to develop.
The most common symptoms of either form of
Meningitis is usually caused by many different viruses and bacteria. So the best methods of preventing it varies. But by getting vaccinated and taking sensible precautions, you can greatly reduce your risk. Here's what you need to know about meningitis prevention.
The incubation period-the time from exposure to the
infection to when the first symptoms develop-depends on the type of organism
causing the infection.
Babies, young children, older adults, and
people with other medical conditions may not have the usual symptoms of
In babies, the signs of meningitis may be a
fever, irritability that is difficult to calm, decreased appetite, rash,
vomiting, and a shrill cry. Babies also may have a stiff body and bulging soft
spots on their heads that are not caused by crying. Babies with meningitis may
cry when handled.
Young children with meningitis may act like they
flu (influenza), cough, or have trouble
Older adults and people with other medical conditions
may have only a slight headache and fever. They may not feel well and may have