the height of flu season but not all symptoms of the flu virus
point to influenza. Sudden fever and headache also may be
symptoms of early meningitis, which often mimics the flu.
is a syndrome that refers to inflammation in the area that
surrounds the brain," says Mayo Clinic infectious
diseases specialist Dr. Pritish Tosh. He says many things can
cause meningitis, including viruses, bacteria, fungi and
parasites. "There are different kinds of meningitis. Some
are not infectious at all. Bacterial meningitis, which is what
I think most people are concerned about, can be
life-threatening, and if someone has a headache and fever,
that very well could be bacterial meningitis."
says, "There are different bacteria that cause
meningitis. One also causes pneumonia, streptococcus
pneumonia. We give a vaccination to children against that
bacteria early on. We also give it to older adults, as well.
Neisseria meningitis is a bacterial meningitis common amongst
college students living in residence halls or other people who
are living in confined area. There is a recommended vaccine,
part of the routine vaccine series actually early on in life
— ages 11 to 12 — before they’re going to college. If
someone has not received that vaccine series, and is about to
enter college, they certainly should do so."
immediate medical care if you or someone in your family has
Severe, unrelenting headache
for bacterial meningitis includes IV antibiotics and
corticosteroids. This helps to ensure recovery and reduce the
risk of complications, such as brain swelling and seizures.
Viral meningitis cannot be treated with antibiotics and often
improves on its own.