Meningitis is an uncommon but serious, life-threatening infection. However, a baby will almost always fully recover when it’s diagnosed and treated early. If treatment is delayed, a baby can still recover, but they may be left with one or more long-term effects, including: blindness.
What happens when a baby has meningitis?
Bacterial meningitis is inflammation of the layers of tissue surrounding the brain and spinal cord (meninges) caused by bacteria. Newborns with bacterial meningitis are usually irritable, vomit, or may have seizures.
What is the first sign of meningitis in babies?
The first symptoms are usually fever, vomiting, headache and feeling unwell. Meningitis & septicaemia are higher risks for young children. The first symptoms are usually fever, vomiting, headache and feeling unwell.
How long does it take for a baby to recover from meningitis?
Most cases of viral meningitis can be recovered from at home with rest, water, and painkillers if necessary. Remember to ask a doctor or pharmacist before giving your baby any over-the-counter medication. Generally, you can expect your baby to recover from viral meningitis in 7 to 10 days.
How do they treat meningitis in babies?
Bacterial meningitis is treated with antibiotics that are typically given intravenously in the hospital through an IV. According to the AAP, most babies who receive prompt antibiotic treatment will recover completely.
What does meningitis look like in babies?
The meningitis rash happens because septicaemia damages blood vessels, causing little leaks of blood. These leaks cause pinprick red spots to appear on the skin. As the leaks of blood get bigger, the spots can change into larger red or purple blotches, like bruises, and blood blisters .
What is the most common cause of meningitis in infants?
Several strains of bacteria can cause acute bacterial meningitis, most commonly: Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus). This bacterium is the most common cause of bacterial meningitis in infants, young children and adults in the United States. It more commonly causes pneumonia or ear or sinus infections.
How do I know if my child has meningitis?
The first symptoms are usually fever, vomiting, headache and feeling unwell. Limb pain, pale skin, and cold hands and feet often appear earlier than the rash, neck stiffness, dislike of bright lights and confusion. Red ticks show symptoms more specific to meningitis and septicaemia and less common in milder illnesses.
When should you suspect meningitis?
a high temperature (fever) of 38C or above. being sick. a headache. a rash that does not fade when a glass is rolled over it (but a rash will not always develop)
How long can you have meningitis without knowing?
Symptoms of bacterial meningitis can appear quickly or over several days. Typically they develop within 3 to 7 days after exposure. Later symptoms of bacterial meningitis can be very serious (e.g., seizures, coma). For this reason, anyone who thinks they may have meningitis should see a doctor as soon as possible.
How did my baby get meningitis?
Your baby can get meningitis when bacteria, viruses, or a fungus infecting another part of their body travels in the bloodstream to their brain and spinal cord.
How do they test for meningitis in babies?
Lumbar puncture (spinal tap).
This is the only test that diagnoses meningitis. A needle is placed into the lower back, into the spinal canal. This is the area around the spinal cord. The pressure in the spinal canal and brain is measured.
How can you test for meningitis at home?
The meningitis glass test
- Press the side of a clear glass firmly against the skin.
- Spots/rash may fade at first.
- Keep checking.
- Fever with spots/rash that do not fade under pressure is a medical emergency.
- Do not wait for a rash. If someone is ill and getting worse, get medical help immediately.
How do you rule out meningitis?
a physical examination to look for symptoms of meningitis. a blood test to check for bacteria or viruses. a lumbar puncture – where a sample of fluid is taken from the spine and checked for bacteria or viruses. a CT scan to check for any problems with the brain, such as swelling.
Does Meningitis go away by itself?
Most people with mild viral meningitis usually get better on their own within 7 to 10 days. Initial symptoms of viral meningitis are similar to those for bacterial meningitis.
Can meningitis kill babies?
Bacterial meningitis is usually more severe and may lead to long-term complications. Some children may have long-term problems with seizures, brain damage, hearing loss, and disability. Bacterial meningitis can also cause death.