Symptoms can vary for meningitis depending on your age.

One of the common misconceptions is to wait for a rash before getting medical help, but not all forms of meningitis have the symptom of a rash. Do not wait, trust your instincts and seek medical help.

Symptoms can appear in any order and some may not appear at all.

Symptoms in children and adults:

Photo credit: CDC
  • Fever, cold hands and feet
  • Vomiting
  • Drowsy, difficult to wake
  • Confusion and irritability
  • Severe muscle pain
  • Pale, blotchy skin, spots/rash
  • Severe headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Dislike bright lights
  • Convulsions/seizures

Symptoms in babies and toddlers:

Photo credit: CDC
  • Fever, cold hands and feet
  • Refusing food and vomiting
  • Fretful, dislike being handled
  • Drowsy, floppy, unresponsive
  • Rapid breathing, grunting
  • Pale, blotchy skin, spots, rash
  • Unusual crying, moaning
  • Tense, bulging fontanelle (soft spot)
  • Stiff neck, dislike bright lights
  • Convulsion, seizures


Credit for medical symptoms: Meningitis Now

Featured image credit: NEC Corporation of America