But viral meningitis is more
common, and most people with this form of the illness get better in about 2
weeks. With mild cases, you may only need home treatment. Home treatment
includes drinking lots of fluids and taking medicine for fever and pain.
Can meningitis be prevented?
The best way to
protect your child from meningitis is to make sure he or she gets all the
standard immunizations for children. These include shots for measles,
chickenpox, Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) disease,
and pneumococcal infection.
Talk to your doctor about whether you
or your child also needs the meningococcal vaccine, which is a shot to prevent
bacterial meningitis. It is recommended for:
Adolescents at age 11 or 12. A booster shot is also needed at age 16.
Young adults ages 21 and younger who haven't had the shot yet. (They should
get it as soon as possible.)
People who plan to travel to countries known to have
meningitis outbreaks, such as the countries in Africa south of the Saharan Desert.