Callor other emergency services immediately if:
- You or your child has symptoms of severe , such as fever, seizures, and confusion.
- Your baby has signs of severe meningitis such as trouble breathing or fever with a bulging soft spot on the head not caused by crying.
Call your doctor immediately if:
- You or your child has symptoms or signs of meningitis, such as severe and persistent headache, stiff neck, fever, rash, nausea, and vomiting.
- You or your child has viral meningitis and does not get better with home treatment after 3 days.
- You or your child is being treated for viral meningitis and develops signs of complications during illness (for example, a fever that lasts longer than 3 full days and does not go down during home treatment).
- Your baby has a fever that comes and goes, diarrhea, vomiting, swollen abdomen, and a shrill cry.
Call a doctor promptly if you believe you may have been exposed to meningitis. You can be treated with , which may keep you from getting the illness.
Watchful waiting is a period of time during which you and your doctor observe your symptoms or condition without using medical treatment. Bacterial meningitis, especially in a newborn, is a medical emergency. Watchful waiting is not appropriate if you think that you or your child has meningitis, especially because you will not know whether the infection is bacterial or viral. Call your doctor as soon as symptoms or signs appear.
Who To See
The following health professionals can diagnose and treat meningitis:
- Pediatric or family nursepractitioner
Specialists may be needed to treat meningitis, especially if complications develop:
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.