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Meningitis in Children (cont.)

Prognosis of Meningitis in Children

The prognosis for any type of meningitis depends on the exact cause and severity of infection. At the time of initial treatment and diagnosis, a doctor may not be able to tell a person the exact prognosis and possible recovery outlook.

  • Bacterial meningitis can rapidly progress within hours and end in death despite the most advanced medical care. If a child survives a severe case of bacterial meningitis, the child may have long-term disabilities, including visual troubles, hearing difficulty, seizures, paralysis, and decreased mental function.
  • In very mild cases of bacterial meningitis that are treated early, a child may completely recover over the course of a few weeks with rehabilitation.
  • Viral meningitis tends to be a much less severe infection and normally can be treated at home on an outpatient basis. Most children with viral meningitis get better within two weeks.

Medically reviewed by Margaret Walsh, MD; American Board of Pediatrics


Muller, Martha L. "Pediatric Bacterial Meningitis." Jan. 30, 2014. <>.

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Meningitis." Apr. 1, 2014. <>.

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Meningococcal Disease: Help Prevent It." May 18, 2011. <>.

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "2012 Child & Adolescent Immunization Schedules." Feb. 6, 2012. <>.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/11/2015

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