Book an appointment at BlueNetHOSPITALS Los Cabos easily via Whatsapp and save time.


Meningitis can have various infectious causes, with bacteria and viruses being the main culprits.


Meningitis, the inflammation and infection of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord, can be a significant condition requiring specialized and immediate medical attention.

Meningitis inflammation causes symptoms such as headache, fever, and neck stiffness. It can be caused by viruses, bacteria, parasites, or fungi, with viral infection being the most common in the United States.

What are the Symptoms of Meningitis?

Symptoms can vary, but being aware of characteristic signs is crucial. These can include:

  • Sudden high fever

  • Neck stiffness

  • Severe headache

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Confusion or difficulty concentrating

  • Seizures

  • Sensitivity to light

  • Skin rash in cases of meningococcal meningitis

In newborns, meningitis can manifest with fever, constant crying, drowsiness, lack of appetite, and stiffness in the body and neck.

What Causes Meningitis?

Meningitis can have various infectious causes, with bacteria and viruses being the main culprits. Below, we highlight each of the most common causes:

Bacterial Meningitis

  • Streptococcus pneumoniae: These bacteria are a frequent cause of bacterial meningitis, which is more common in infants, young children, and adults. In addition to meningitis, it can cause pneumonia and ear and sinus infections.

  • Neisseria meningitidis: These bacteria are known for causing meningococcal meningitis. However, it can also cause upper respiratory infections before becoming a meningococcal threat. Meningococcal meningitis is highly contagious and can trigger local epidemics, especially in environments like college dormitories and military bases.

Viral Meningitis

Generally, viral meningitis is mild and tends to resolve on its own. It is mostly caused by enteroviruses, which are especially common in late summer and early fall. Other viruses, such as herpes simplex, HIV, mumps, and West Nile, can also cause viral meningitis.

Chronic Meningitis

It can persist for two weeks or more and can be caused by slow-growing organisms like fungi and the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Its symptoms are similar to acute meningitis, including headache, fever, vomiting, and mental cloudiness.

Fungal Meningitis

Contracted by inhaling fungal spores present in soil, decaying wood, or bird droppings. Fungal meningitis, like cryptococcal, affects people with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV, and can be deadly if not properly treated.

Parasitic Meningitis

It can be caused by parasites that infect animals and are transmitted to humans through contaminated food. Examples include eosinophilic meningitis, brain tapeworm infection, and cerebral malaria. Amebic meningitis, acquired by swimming in freshwater, is also life-threatening.

In addition to infections, meningitis can have non-infectious causes, such as chemical reactions, drug allergies, some types of cancer, and inflammatory diseases like sarcoidosis.

Risk Factors for Contracting Meningitis

Some factors increase the risk of contracting meningitis, such as:

  • Not being vaccinated or completing the vaccination schedule.

  • Children under 5 years old more easily contract viral meningitis, and bacterial meningitis is common in those under 20 years old.

  • College students living in dormitories, military base personnel, and children in boarding schools are at higher risk of contracting meningococcal meningitis.

  • Pregnancy increases the risk of contracting an infection caused by the listeria bacterium, which can also cause meningitis. The infection increases the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, and premature birth.

  • AIDS, alcohol use disorders, diabetes, the use of immunosuppressive medications, and other factors that affect the immune system increase the risk of contracting meningitis.

Meningitis Prevention

Prevention is key in the fight against meningitis. Here are important measures you can take:

  • Handwashing: A simple but effective practice to prevent the transmission of germs.

  • Personal hygiene: Avoid sharing utensils, toothbrushes, and other personal items.

  • Maintain health: Strengthen the immune system with rest, exercise, and a balanced diet.

  • Vaccination: Vaccines such as against Haemophilus influenzae type B, pneumococcal, and meningococcal can prevent specific forms of meningitis.

When to See a Doctor for Meningitis?

If you suspect meningitis, it's crucial to seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms such as fever, severe headache, confusion, and neck stiffness should be evaluated quickly. Bacterial meningitis can be fatal within a few days; early treatment is essential.

At BlueNetHospitals, we have an ER, if necessary, and Neurology specialists for optimal support in recovering from meningitis. Take care of your health and that of your loved ones!


BlueNet Hospitals - Blue Net Hospitals