Brain Infection (cont.)
Brain Infection Symptoms and Signs
Various types of brain infections lead to many different symptoms, which can depend on the age of the person, the type of bacteria, the type of infection, and the acuteness of the disease.
- In general, people older than 2 years of age with acute bacterial infection develop high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, discomfort when looking into a bright light, sleepiness, and confusion.
- Newborns and infants can be unusually fussy, irritable, and sleepy. They may feed poorly and not be comforted by holding. Seizures can be a late development of the disease.
- Severe forms of bacterial meningitis, particularly meningococcal, can cause shock with complete loss of consciousness and coma and bring about a spreading purplish rash. An infant can have bulging fontanelles (soft spots) on the head and have a decreased muscle tone in arms and legs.
- Someone with viral brain infections tends to appear somewhat less ill. Flu-like symptoms in addition to mild signs and symptoms outlined for each condition may be seen.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/19/2015
Igor Boyarsky, DO, FACEP, FAAEM
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