Bacterial meningitis most commonly affects children under 5 years of age or adults older than 60 years because of impaired immunity. Age groups in between are affected but not as often.
For adults, a severe headache is the most common bacterial meningitis symptom plus the inability to flex the neck because of stiffness. Another symptom is sudden high fever. If adults donít have any of these symptoms, bacterial meningitis is unlikely.
Another telling symptom is along with neck stiffness, when a patient cannot extend their knee 90-degrees or when there is an involuntary flexion of the knee and hip. Irregular red or purple spots on the trunk may also pinpoint meningitis.
People may not be able to tolerate bright light and/or loud noise.
Unlike adults, infants and young children cannot tell you what hurts. Bacterial meningitis symptoms in children younger than three months include vomiting, decreased liquid intake, increased tiredness and irritability, fever, a bulging soft spot on the top of the babyís head and seizures.
For children one year or older, bacterial meningitis symptoms are vomiting and nausea, headache, confused, tiredness, seizures, increased sensitivity to light, and neck stiffness or pain. Like adults when the neck is bent forward, the knees involuntarily go toward the body and the inability to straighten the lower legs after the hips have flexed 90-degrees.
For children bacterial meningitis usually develops over one to four days. Donít wait. Donít call a doctor. Go directly to the ER and be proactive. Your childís life depends on it.
Has a loved one been quickly and properly diagnosed with bacterial meningitis? Putting all the pieces or symptoms together is a key component in diagnosis and treatment. Do you have a bacterial meningitis lawsuit?