KidsMD Health Topics

Meningitis in Children

  • Meningitis is a bacterial or viral infection that causes three thin layers of tissue that surround the brain and the spinal cord to swell. Doctors at Boston Children's Hospital have been leaders and innovators in the treatment of meningitis complications for decades.

    • viral meningitis is more common and less severe
    • bacterial meningitis may cause long term complications, including death
    • vaccines help prevent some forms of bacterial meningitis
    • treatment for bacterial meningitis includes antibiotics
    • there is no treatment for viral; most children recover on their own
    • early treatment can help prevent serious problems

    How Children’s Hospital Boston approaches meningitis

    Children’s is constantly working to prevent, identify and treat meningitis is a more effective way. Some innovations by Children’s include:

    • Development of the Haemophilus influenzae b (Hib) vaccine in 1990 has practically eliminated the most common cause of bacterial meningitis in children.
    • A simple algorithm developed at Children’s and the University of California, Davis, Health System in 2007 helps doctors rapidly distinguish infants and children with viral meningitis from those with bacterial meningitis—potentially reducing unnecessary hospital admissions and prolonged antibiotic treatment.
    • The Children’s Hospital Informatics Program created HealthMap, an online resource and smart phone app that helps track the spread of contagious diseases in real time, including meningitis.
Request an Appointment

If this is a medical emergency, please dial 9-1-1. This form should not be used in an emergency.

Patient Information
Date of Birth:
Contact Information
Appointment Details
Send RequestIf you do not see the specialty you are looking for, please call us at: 617-355-6000.International visitors should call International Health Services at +1-617-355-5209.
Please complete all required fields

This department is currently not accepting appointment requests online. Please call us at: 617-355-6000. International +1-617-355-6000.

This department is currently not accepting appointment requests online. Please call us at: 617-355-6000. International +1-617-355-6000.

Thank you.

Your request has been successfully submitted

You will be contacted within 1 business day.

If you have questions or would like more information, please call:

617-355-6000 +1-617-355-6000
close
Find a Doctor
Search by Clinician's Last Name or Specialty:
Select by Location:
Search by First Letter of Clinician's Last Name: *ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
BrowseSearch
Condition & Treatments
Search for a Condition or Treatment:
Show Items Starting With: *ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
View allSearch
Locations
The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO
Close