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Bacterial meningitis is an infection of the tissues that surround the brain and spinal cord. This serious infection can injure the brain. It can cause death.
Symptoms usually develop suddenly. A baby may be cranky, cry when moved, and arch their back. A young child may have a severe headache and refuse to eat. An older child will also have a stiff neck. Fever is common at all ages. Your child will be in the hospital for testing and treatment.
How long it takes your child to get better depends on how bad the illness is. It can take from just a couple of weeks to many months. You may notice a change in how your child thinks or concentrates. Most children with these symptoms get better over time. Be patient. And follow your doctor's instructions.
Treatment takes place in the hospital. Treatment may include:
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
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Current as of: October 31, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & John Pope MD - Pediatrics
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