Meningitis is an infection in the membrane and fluid of the brain that could (if it is the bacterial kind) require medical attention ASAP.
So if you are experiencing a stiff neck, it is a good idea to try to rule out meningitis as the cause. If, after reading this you cannot, please see a doctor as soon as possible.
- Do you have a stiff neck?
If the answer is no, you can find other Back and Neck Injury / Chronic Pain Injury issues on the Back and Neck Injury / Chronic Pain site homepage.
- If the answer to Step #1 is yes, then check for the presence of accompanying symptoms.
In the last few hours to 1-2 days have you had:
- trouble looking at bright lights
- other symptoms of meningitis?
- Do you or have you recently been spending time with a person who has an infection? Specifically have you been:
- sharing food or utensils with them
- having physical contact with them
- caretaking for small children?
- Do you have a chronic illness, especially a ear or nose infection? People with chronic illnesses may be more suseptible to meningitis.
- Are you a college student living in a dorm? College freshmen, especially, are at a higher risk for infection. There are vaccines for meningitis, and you can ask the student clinic at your school for more information.
- Have you been travelling lately? There are some parts of the world that experience outbreaks of epidemics. To check if you need a vaccination, you can call the CDC at: (404)-332-4565. The CDC recommends to travelers to get the vacine at least one week before leaving on their trip.
- For your own protection, learn more about bacterial meningitis, viral meningitis, meningitis in general the symptoms of meningitis, and how contagious meningitis is.
- If you are unsure of the risks for or symptoms of meningitis, take a few moments to go through the Meningitis Awareness Quiz to clarify your knowledge of the subject. It may save your life!