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Symptoms and Signs of Brain Infection

Doctor's Notes on Brain Infection

A brain infection is a bacterial, viral, fungal, or parasitic infection of the tissue of the brain itself or the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord (meninges). Bacteria and viruses are the most common causes of brain infections. An abscess is a localized collection of infectious organisms that can also occur in the brain.

Signs and symptoms of a brain infection depend to some extent on the type of infection. Viral meningitis usually causes much milder symptoms than bacterial meningitis, which can be fatal. Symptoms associated with bacterial meningitis can include severe headache, neck stiffness, high fever, nausea, vomiting, pain or discomfort when looking at bright lights, sleepiness, and confusion. Affected infants may be fussy, irritable, and feed poorly.

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

REFERENCE:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

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