Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes (meninges) surrounding your brain and spinal cord.
The swelling associated with meningitis often triggers the “hallmark” signs and symptoms of this condition, including headache, fever and a stiff neck.
Most cases of meningitis in the U.S. are caused by a viral infection, but bacterial and fungal infections also can lead to meningitis. Depending on the cause of the infection, meningitis can get better on its own in a couple of weeks — or it can be a life-threatening emergency requiring urgent antibiotic treatment.
If you suspect that you or someone in your family has meningitis, seek medical care right away. Early treatment of bacterial meningitis can prevent serious complications.
It’s easy to mistake the early signs and symptoms of meningitis for the flu (influenza). Meningitis signs and symptoms may develop over several hours or over one or two days.
The signs and symptoms that may occur in anyone older than age of 2 include:
-Sudden high fever
-Severe headache that isn’t easily confused with other types of headache
-Stiff neck
-Vomiting or nausea with headache

-Confusion or difficulty concentrating
-Sleepiness or difficulty waking up
-Sensitivity to light

-Lack of interest in drinking and eating
-Skin rash in some cases
, such as in meningococcal meningitis