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The high points involved when meningitis is under consideration that will help you to be conversive with your caregiver are touched on.


Meningitis management is strictly for the licensed practitioner.

What is the First Sign of Meningitis?


Worst headache of your life. When a patient presents stating this along with a fever, the physician must consider meningitis, encephalitis, and meningismus.

What is Meningitis?

Meningitis is when the encasings of the brain and spinal cord are infected.

What is Meningismus?

Meningismus is when those encasings are only inflamed and painful, and not truly infected. It’s usually from some sort of toxin or poison.

What is Encephalitis?

Encephalitis is when the brain and spinal cord itself are actually infected.

What is Meningitis?

So, back to meningitis. It has to be some sort of infection. There are bacterial and viral meningitides; and there is the whole concept of aseptic meningitis.

Bacterial meningitis. The specific diagnosis is important to treat correctly. Three month old to 50-year-old, think strep pneumo and Neisseria meningitis.

College and military: think Neisseria meningitis. Neurosurgical procedure in the history: think staph, MRSA.

Viral meningitis. Supportive care alone is key, so a specific diagnosis is not critical.

Aseptic meningitis is when it’s not bacterial, but an infectious cause is at play that must be identified in order to get the patient well. Lyme disease (think about this in the summertime when Lyme disease is most prominent), HSV (Herpes Simplex virus, think about this when sexually transmitted disease is a possibility), and syphilis (similarly).


This is the world of the emergency room physician, the infectious disease specialist, and the ICU. Don’t second-guess. But this should help you keep up.

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