This is a swelling of thin membranes called the "meninges." These three layers of tissue cover and protect your brain and your spinal cord. Meningitis is a serious condition. It can be life threatening.


Many things can cause your meninges to become inflamed. Usually, it's caused by a viral or bacterial infection. Or, you may be infected by a fungus. Meningitis can also be caused by other problems, such as cancer or a reaction to medicine. And, it can be caused by a head or spine injury.


The symptoms of meningitis can be flu-like. You may have a high fever, a bad headache and a stiff neck. You may feel sleepy. You may lose your desire to eat and drink. You may have nausea or sensitivity to light. As your symptoms progress, you may have confusion and seizures.


Treatment for meningitis depends on what causes your inflammation. Most cases can be treated with medications to fight infection and to ease your symptoms. Proper care can help you avoid serious complications. Your healthcare provider can create a plan that is right for you.