Health & Beauty

Guest Post | Symptoms of Meningitis

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1314902_medical_doctor It’s a disease that can leave your child brain damaged, blind, deaf, or even kill them in just a few hours. Meningitis is rightly feared by parents.

Meningitis is a swelling of the lining of the brain and spinal cord which can very quickly become serious. It’s often associated with septicemia (blood poisoning), which can also be extremely
serious.

The disease can be caused by a number of bacterial, viral or even fungal infections. Viral meningitis is the more common variety, but it’s usually less severe than bacterial meningitis, which is always a dangerous infection.

Every year thousands of children around the world are struck down by meningitis. The infections
that cause it appear in sporadic pockets, which are impossible to predict, often affecting groups of children.

The things that make meningitis so deadly are that it can develop so fast – a child can seem perfectly well one moment and in just a few hours become extremely ill with the disease – and the symptoms of the disease can be difficult to distinguish from other, less critical conditions.

Please note that there’s no guarantee someone with meningitis will show the symptoms listed here and that symptoms can appear in any order.

In babies and very young children meningitis can cause vomiting, a high temperature, a refusal to eat or drink, and a high-pitched/moaning cry.

Babies could also show a tense or bulging fontanel (soft spot on top of baby’s heads), blotchy or pale skin, rapid breathing, and having either a limp or stiff body.

Older children and adults can experience a severe headache, a stiff or painful neck and an aversion to bright lights as well as fever and vomiting. Those with meningitis can feel drowsy or fall unconscious.

The most infamous indication of meningitis is a rash that looks like small red pinpricks which grow into purple/red blotches. The rash doesn’t fade under pressure – you can test this by rolling a glass over the area.

1389006_babys_foot Some early warning signs of meningitis in children under 17 include cold hands and feet, strange skin color (pale, bluish or mottled), and leg pains. These symptoms often show themselves hours before the more recognizable symptoms, like a rash and an aversion to bright light.

If you notice any of the above symptoms, take your child straight to a hospital and tell them what you’re worried about. Meningitis is a potentially lethal condition and requires immediate medical attention.

Author Bio: James Armstrong is an experienced journalist, currently writing about health for Dr Thom the online doctor service.

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About the author

Amanda

Hi! I'm Amanda, a Kansas City Lifestyle Blogger, mom of two little people, social media addict, travel junkie with a slight obsession to baking and fitness.

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10 Comments

  • Meningitis is a terrible disease, and I am glad that this was finally posted somewhere. Considering the outbreak, I believe it's important to educate parents on what symptoms to look for because like Christina said, little ones can tell you exactly what hurts.
  • The current outbreak is so scary! I was just watching a story on the news about it. My nephew had bacterial meningitis when he was baby & it was so scary! My son was a baby also & it terrified me that he could have caught it if it had been the viral kind instead of the bacterial. Thankfully my nephew pulled through & has no effects of the meningitis. We do our best to protect our children but we cant protect them from things we cant see or are not aware of. Let's all pray the current outbreak is contained & takes no more lives!
  • Unfortunately for the younger ones the parents have to really be thinking about this early since the children won't complain about the symptoms, you have to view them yourself, they may just cry. Thanks for the post as this has been in the news quite often lately.
  • Meningitis is so scary. I believe older children and adults can get vaccinated against it which helps stop the spread to those who can't.
  • I'm so glad you posted this! I had bacterial menengitis when I was 18 and was misdiagnosed. My family really thought I was going to die. I have life long side effects from it but overall walked away pretty lucky. It's so important to educate people about the symptoms in small children especially since they can't verbalize the kind of pain they are in.
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