Meningitis is a serious infection of the spinal fluid and meninges (the brain’s protective membranes). Several viruses and bacteria cause meningitis. Although bacterial meningitis is generally more severe than viral, both types require immediate medical care.
Skilled emergency care professionals at Dignity Health provide critical care for viral and bacterial meningitis in Southern California. If you or someone you care for has symptoms of meningitis, including high fever, headache, and stiff neck, visit one of our convenient locations in Long Beach, Northridge, Downtown LA, Glendale, and in Inland Empire cities San Bernardino, Fontana, and Highland for reliable medical care.
Symptoms of Meningitis
Viral and bacterial meningitis share the same symptoms, but the symptoms of bacterial meningitis are usually more severe.
Meningitis symptoms include:
- Stiff neck
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of consciousness
- Changes in mental status or behavior
Infants may have additional symptoms, such as a bulging soft spot, fussiness, and not eating.
Bacterial meningitis can progress quickly and lead to life-threatening complications. It’s important to seek immediate medical care for symptoms of meningitis, or if you have had close contact with someone showing symptoms.
What Causes Meningitis?
Several types of viruses can lead to meningitis. However, highly contagious enteroviruses are the most common cause of viral meningitis. Enteroviruses are usually transmitted by hand-to-mouth contact. Regular handwashing is the best way to prevent getting an enterovirus or meningitis.
Bacterial meningitis is usually contracted through close contact, such as kissing, coughing, and sneezing. The meningococcal vaccine may help protect you from bacterial meningitis. Our philosophy of care is rooted in wellness, so talk to your primary care doctor at Dignity Health Southern California about the meningitis vaccine.
Meningitis Treatment at Dignity Health Southern California
Depending on the cause of the virus, your plan of care may include over-the-counter medicine, IV fluid, or antibiotics. Treatment for bacterial meningitis is typically more intensive and may require hospitalization. Our hospitals have the experienced experts and cutting-edge medical equipment to monitor, support, and treat mild or severe cases of meningitis.
Emergency services at Dignity Health provide fast, effective care for meningitis in Southern California.