The Most Common Meningitis Symptoms in Kids and Adults

Meningitis Symptoms in Kids
Meningitis Symptoms in Kids

Meningitis Symptoms in Kids and Adults

Cases of meningitis symptoms in kids and adults should be treated promptly as a medical emergency. Meningitis can cause septicemia and this can lead to death.

If you are suspected of having bacterial meningitis, you should immediately contact the nearest hospital or get to the hospital as soon as possible. There are early signs you may see before other symptoms appear. Bacterial meningitis has symptoms that appear suddenly and may worsen rapidly.

If there is a high fever accompanied by an initial sign below, please contact your doctor immediately or directly to the nearest hospital. Again, this is an emergency medical condition. The initial signs are:

  • Pain in muscles and joints, for example on the hands and feet
  • The hands and feet will be cold or even shivering
  • Pale skin or spots appear red scattered
  • Lips look blue

The initial symptoms of bacterial meningitis are very common and similar to other diseases, including severe headache, body discomfort, nausea, vomiting.

Fever means body temperature reaches 38 ° Celsius or more, this can happen in adults and children. Another sign of fever is the face will feel hot to the touch and the skin will look red.

When bacterial meningitis worsens, this condition can cause some things like the following:

  • Breathing fast
  • Confused
  • Sleepy
  • Neck stiff, although this is rare in small children
  • A bright red rash that does not fade or discolour as the glass is pressed over the rash. But these symptoms are not always present to everyone
  • Sensitive to light (photophobia)
  • Convulsions

Keep in mind that signs and symptoms in people with meningitis may vary. Most only experience some of the above symptoms.

Viral Meningitis Symptoms In Young Children and Infants

Young children and infants have different symptoms of bacterial meningitis. There is a possibility of swelling of the crown in some infants with meningitis. Possible symptoms include:

  • Continually crying for no reason
  • Fussy and unwilling to be picked up
  • Loss of appetite
  • Throws up
  • Pale and appears red spots
  • Very sleepy and do not want to get up
  • Limp and unresponsive. The movement is rigid and broken
  • Blank gaze
  • Appears a lump on the fontanel (the soft part on the top and back of the baby’s head)
  • Reflexes are not normal

Viral Meningitis Symptoms

Symptoms of mild flu will occur in most people with viral meningitis such as fever, headache and body feeling unhealthy. While other symptoms of viral meningitis in infants other than the above symptoms are loss of appetite, drowsiness and difficulty waking, lethargic, and fussy.

Viral meningitis usually does not progress to septicemia or blood infection, as is the case with potentially complicated bacterial meningitis. But in more severe cases, the symptoms of viral meningitis can be:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stiff neck
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Eyes become sensitive to light (photophobia)


People with fungal meningitis may develop some of the following common symptoms:

  • Fever.
  • Headache.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Stiff neck.
  • Sensitive to light.
  • Confusion.


In the early phase, patients with parasitic meningitis will show the same symptoms as other types of meningitis. Some of the symptoms of meningitis when the parasite has entered the late phase are:

  • Reduced attention to the surrounding environment.
  • Balance disorders.
  • Convulsions.
  • Hallucinations.

Once visible symptoms, meningitis parasite will develop rapidly and usually causes death within five days.


The symptoms of non-infectious meningitis often suddenly felt by the patient. Some of the symptoms that usually appear suddenly are:

  • Fever.
  • Headache.
  • Stiff neck.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Sensitive to light.
  • Confusion.
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