The first signs and symptoms of meningitis

Update: October 2018

Менингит —  это воспалительный процесс в оболочках
brain and spinal cord. The disease is very dangerous and
suspected development of meningitis patient should as soon as possible
be hospitalized because he is treated only in the hospital
regardless of the age of the patient. It is believed that meningitis is more common.
happens in children. Insolvency or high permeability
the blood-brain barrier in children determines not so much the frequency
morbidity in children, how much severity and frequency of lethal
outcomes (substances that should not enter the brain
penetrate, causing convulsions and other cortical or pyramidal

Meningitis is dangerous because even with timely, correct
treatment it can cause serious complications and long-term
effects such as recurrent headaches, hearing loss,
vision, dizziness, epileptic seizures that may
last a few years or stay for life.

All types of meningitis are classified:

By the nature of development
  • Primary – an independent disease without local
    infection process in any organ
  • Secondary – inflammation develops against the background of the general or local
    infectious disease, most often after mumps, measles,
    tuberculosis, syphilis, etc.
By origin
  • Bacterial
  • Fungal
  • Viral
  • Mixed
  • Parasitic
  • Nonspecific
On the localization of the inflammatory process
  • Convexital
  • Diffuse
  • Local
  • Basal
By the nature of inflammation
  • Serous serous meningitis in children – Symptoms
  • Purulent
By the nature of the process
  • acute – fulminant, reactive meningitis
  • subacute
  • recurrent
  • chronic

Regardless of the causes, the causative agent of infection,
localization process, the clinical manifestations of the disease have
few common first signs of meningitis.

The first symptoms of meningitis

Meningitis is so serious, dangerous disease, complications
which can lead to disability and even death,
so everyone should know how to determine meningitis, which
he has characteristic symptoms, how does meningitis manifest, so that
you can seek medical help early and start on time
adequate treatment.

General infectious symptoms

Первые признаки meningitis

One of the symptoms of meningitis: if you put the patient on his back and
tilt his head to his chest, then his legs involuntarily bent.

This is primarily intoxication:

  • high body temperature
  • pallor of the skin
  • muscle and joint pain
  • shortness of breath, rapid pulse, cyanosis of the nasolabial triangle
  • with severe can be low arterial
  • loss of appetite
  • patients have a feeling of thirst and therefore drink a lot, giving up
    drinking is regarded as an adverse sign.

Meningeal syndrome

These are cerebral first symptoms of meningitis, such as:


arises due to the toxic effects of brain infections.
shell, due to increased intracranial pressure, it
noted in all patients with any meningitis. Headache
bursting, very intense, increasing during movement,
harsh sounds and light stimulations, not localized in separate
parts, and felt throughout the head. Moreover, the use of analgesics is not
gives effect, does not relieve pain.

Dizziness, photophobia, photophobia, vomiting

They appear on the 2-3 day of illness. Vomiting may occur on
peak of a headache, it does not bring relief. This is usually vomiting –
fountain and is not associated with food intake. Increased visual
tactile and sonic sensitivity develops due to
раздражения клеток мозговых узлов, задних корешков  и
receptors of the meninges, it significantly reduces the threshold
sensitivity to any irritants. Increased pain in a patient
may even cause a slight touch to the patient.

Symptoms in infants

Infants are very excited, restless, often scream,
from touch sharply excited, they also often
diarrhea, drowsiness, recurring regurgitation. Have small children
often one of the first signs of meningitis are
судороги, часто повторяющиеся. Adult patients
they usually cover their heads with a blanket and lie facing the wall. If a
at the onset of the disease in adults and adolescents accompanied by convulsive
twitching is an unfavorable sign.

From the first days of the disease such first symptoms occur

    • ригидность затылочных мышц – затрудненное или
      impossible bending of the head. it самый ранний признак meningitis и
    • симптомы Кернига – состояние, когда согнутые в
      knees and hip joints of the legs can not straighten.
    • симптомы Брудзинского –  верхний симптом
      characterized by involuntary flexion of the legs when tilting the head
      to the chest. If a уложить больного на спину и наклонить голову к груди,
      then the legs in the knee and hip joints involuntarily bent.
      The average symptom is involuntary bending of the patient’s legs if
      to press on the region of the symphysis joint. The bottom symptom is when
      check Kernig’s symptom, involuntarily bent the other
  • Симптомы Лесажа – у маленьких детей некоторые
    characteristic meningeal symptoms are not pronounced, therefore
    inspect a large spring. It protrudes, pulsates and is tense. BUT
    also check on the pose of the dog – when holding the child
    armpit, he throws his head back, pulls his legs to
    stomach is a symptom of Lesage.
  • The man takes the forced pose of a kicked dog (cock). it
    when the patient covers his face with a blanket and turns to the wall,
    leads bent legs to the stomach in a position on the side and throws back
    head, as this removes the tension of the shells and reduces the head
  • Patients with meningitis may also have the following
    characteristic pains:

    • Symptom Bekhtereva – reduction of facial muscles with
      tapping on the zygomatic arch
    • Pulatova symptom – pain when knocking the skull
    • Symptom Mendel – pain with pressure on the area outside
      auditory canal
    • Pain on pressure at the exit points of the cranial nerves
      (for example, trigeminal, under the eye, in the middle of the eyebrow).
  • In addition, lesions of the cranial nerves,
    clinically may manifest such symptoms:

    • reduced vision
    • double vision
    • nystagmus
    • ptosis
    • cross-eyed
    • paresis of mimic muscles
    • hearing loss
    • in most cases, patients have a change,
  • In the first days of the disease the patient is mainly observed
    такие первые признаки meningitis:

    • excitement that may further increase
    • accompanied by hallucinations, motor restlessness
    • or vice versa replaced by stupidity, lethargy
    • up to entering a coma.

From the first – second day on the background of increasing temperature and head
pain appears pink or red rash, disappearing with
pressure. In a few hours it becomes hemorrhagic, then
there is a rash in the form of bruises (cherry bone) with a darker
the middle of a different size. It begins with the feet, legs, crawling on
thighs and buttocks and creeping higher and higher (up to the face).

it – опасный сигнал, и скорую надо вызывать незамедлительно,
otherwise it can quickly end in death. Rash is death
soft tissue on the background of incipient sepsis caused
meningococcus. Septicemia can be without severe cerebral
symptomatology. Eruption combined with fever is enough to
urgently call an ambulance.

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