Bacterial Meningitis in Children

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Overview

Meningitis is an infection that causes inflammation of the three thin layers of tissue, known as meninges, which cover the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis may be caused by a virus or by bacteria.

  • In general, bacterial meningitis is more dangerous than viral meningitis.
  • Bacterial meningitis may cause permanent damage, including hearing loss, mental retardation or even death.
  • Approximately 3,000 people in the United States - or one in 100,000 - are diagnosed with bacterial meningitis each year.
  • Typical treatment includes hospitalization and antibiotics.

How Boston Children's approaches bacterial meningitis

Because of the fast and severe nature of bacterial meningitis, Boston Children's urges all parents to seek treatment immediately once you suspect bacterial meningitis. After admission, doctors will find the specific cause of your child's meningitis and administer treatment accordingly. The ultimate goal of quick treatment is to make sure your child recovers without any permanent damage.

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944

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