Meningitis or invasive meningococcal disease is a disease that causes the membranes that surround and protect the brain (the meninges) and spinal cord to become inflamed. It can be caused by several different bacteria and viruses. The bacteria or virus can also cause blood poisoning (septicemia). The symptoms can develop very quickly and can cause death within hours of first appearing.

Those who survive might have several aftereffects, including brain injury, hearing loss, emotional distress, learning and behavioral difficulties, sight problems, epilepsy, and amputations of digits or limbs. Many people can recover and put meningitis behind them; however, for others, the aftereffects can be severe and cause significant intellectual and developmental disability. This entry describes the history and pathology of meningitis, its signs and symptoms, treatment ...

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