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- Not having recommended vaccinations
- Community living arrangements, such as a college dormitory or military base.
- People in close and prolonged contact with patients with meningitis due to Hemophilus influenza B or Neisseria meningitidis
- Supressed immune system caused by certain health conditions or medications
- Penetrating head trauma
- Previous brain surgery, or cerebrospinal fluid shunts
- Birth defects, such as dermal sinus or meningomyelocele, a type of spina bifida
- A history of epidural steroid injections or other invasive spinal procedures
- Cochlear implants
- Smoking, or exposure to second-hand smoke
- High fever
- Very stiff, sore neck
- Red or purple skin rash
- Bluish skin color
- Sensitivity to bright lights
- Mental confusion
- Unexplained high fever or any form of temperature instability, including a low body temperature
- Jaundice (yellow skin color)
- Feeding poorly or refusing to eat
- Tightness or bulging of soft spots between skull bones
- Difficulty awakening
- Blood tests—A complete blood count and c-reactive protein
- Lumbar puncture —removal of a small amount of cerebrospinal fluid to check for bacteria if intracranial pressure is not too high infections
- Cultures of blood, urine, mucous, and/or pus from skin
- Antibiotics and corticosteroids—often given together
- Pain medications
- Medications to help reduce brain swelling
- If you have been exposed to meningitis or are a carrier, your doctor may recommend prophylactic antibiotics to prevent infection.
- Find out the status of you and your families vaccinations. In particular:
- If you are a healthcare worker or have close contact with someone who is infected, take preventive antibiotics against Hemophilus influenza B and neisseria meningitidis .
- Buy pasteurized milk and milk products. This can prevent meningitis caused by Listeria monocytogenes .
- If you are pregnant, your doctor will monitor you to make sure the infection is not passed to your baby.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov
Meningitis Foundation of American http://www.meningitisfoundationofamerica.org
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Meningitis Research Foundation of Canada http://www.meningitis.ca
Bacterial meningitis in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated April 26, 2013. Accessed July 29, 2013.
Bacterial meningitis in infants and children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated May 1, 2013. Accessed July 29, 2013.
Bamberger D. Diagnosis, initial management, and prevention of meningitis. Am Fam Physician . 2010;82(12):1491-1498.
Lumbar puncture. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated May 31, 2013. Accessed July 29, 2013.
Meningitis and encephalitis fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/encephalitis%5Fmeningitis/detail%5Fencephalitis%5Fmeningitis.htm . Updated February 16, 2011. Accessed July 29, 2013.
Meningococcal disease. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/about/index.html . Updated March 15, 2012. Accessed July 29, 2013.
Meningococcal vaccine. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated May 20, 2013. Accessed July 29, 2013.
10/2/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php : Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Updated recommendation from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for revaccination of persons at prolonged increased risk for meningococcal disease. MMWR . 2009;58(37):1042-1043.
4/22/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php : Lee CC, Middaugh NA, Howie SR, Ezzati M. Association of secondhand smoke exposure with pediatric invasive bacterial disease and bacterial carriage: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS Med . 2010;7(12).
1/2/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Zalmanovici T, Fraser A, et al. Antibiotics for preventing meningococcal infections. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Oct 25;10.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 01/2014 -
- Update Date: 01/02/2014 -