Meningitis

  • Treatment

    Doctors prescribe antibiotics for bacterial meningitis. The type will vary depending on the bacteria causing the infection. Antibiotics are not effective in viral meningitis.

    Other medications and intravenous fluids will be used to treat symptoms such as brain swelling, shock, and seizures. Some people may need to stay in the hospital, depending on the severity of the illness and the treatment needed.


    Support Groups


    Expectations (prognosis)

    Early diagnosis and treatment of bacterial meningitis is essential to prevent permanent neurological damage. Viral meningitis is usually not serious, and symptoms should disappear within 2 weeks with no lasting complications.


    Complications
    • Brain damage
    • Buildup of fluid between the skull and brain (subdural effusion)
    • Hearing loss
    • Hydrocephalus
    • Seizures

    Calling your health care provider

    If you think that you or your child has symptoms of meningitis, get emergency medical help immediately. Early treatment is key to a good outcome.