#1 Ranked Children’s Hospital by U.S. News & World Report
MyPatients provides referring primary care providers with secure access to their patients’ information.
Boston Children's has launched the world's 1st program dedicated to offering hand transplants to children who qualify.
Innovation insider is a semi-monthly e-newsletter analyzes innovations at Boston Children’s, other academic medical centers and from industry.
Read the latest blog by a Boston Children's doctor, clinician or staff member.
There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
Learn more about our ranking as the top pediatric hospital here.
Bacterial meningitis usually starts with headache and fever, which are common to many illnesses, making bacterial meningitis difficult to diagnose at this stage.
In infants, the symptoms to be aware of are:
For children older than 1 year, look for:
It is important to emphasize that children may not display all of the above signs and symptoms. Watchful waiting is not advised; if you suspect meningitis, consult a doctor immediately.
Many healthy people carry the bacteria in their mouth or throat and never get sick from it, but in rare cases, it breaks through a person's immune system and travels through the bloodstream — or sometimes through the sinuses — to the brain. The bacteria then infect the protective membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord, causing dangerous swelling and inflammation that is only relieved with antibiotic treatment.
While some forms of bacterial meningitis are contagious, especially meningococcus, none is transmitted as easily as the common cold or the flu. However, bacterial meningitis can be spread through the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions, such as:
If someone is in close contact with a person who has bacterial meningitis, such as a roommate, parent, sibling, daycare worker, classmate, or boyfriend or girlfriend, they are at an increased risk and should go to the doctor for antibiotics to prevent bacterial meningitis before symptoms occur.
The most common cause of bacterial meningitis in children, Haemophilus influenzae b (Hib), has been almost eliminated due to a vaccine that was developed at Boston Children's Hospital in 1990.
The rate of another major cause of bacterial meningitis - the pneumococcus bacteria - also has been reduced dramatically by the widespread use of Prevnar pneumococcal vaccine.
Meningococcal vaccine, specifically for meningococcus bacteria, is recommended for students entering dormitory situations in high school or college. It is effective for three to five years, however, it does not protect against all strains of meningococcus bacteria.
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.”