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Health Tip: Meningitis May be Bacterial or Viral

Its cause will determine treatment

(HealthDay News) -- Meningitis is caused by an infection in the fluids surrounding the brain and spinal cord. It may be caused by either a bacterial or viral infection, but viral cases tend to be less severe and may not require treatment.

Bacterial infections can become very serious, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and usually need medical treatment -- including antibiotics -- to prevent brain damage, loss of hearing and learning disabilities.

People of any age can contract meningitis. Symptoms usually include stiffness in the neck, nausea, sensitivity to light, vomiting and fever. Early detection is very important to avoid permanent damage.

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