Meningitis is an infection of the membranes covering the brain and the spinal cord (meninges). The most common causes of meningitis are viral infections, which tend to get better without treatment. However, bacterial meningitis infections are extremely serious, and may result in death or brain damage, even if treated. Meningitis can be caused by chemical irritation, drug allergies, fungi, or tumors. Symptoms can include fever and chills, mental status changes, nausea and vomiting, sensitivity to light (photophobia), severe headache, stiff neck, agitation, bulging fontanelles, decreased consciousness, rapid breathing, or unusual posture with the head and neck arched backwards. Complications from meningitis can include brain damage, buildup of fluid between the skull and brain, hearing loss, hydrocephalus, and seizures.

Meningitis. PubMed Health (May 22, 2018)

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