Which atypical symptoms of meningitis may develop in infants?

Updated: Jul 16, 2019
  • Author: Rodrigo Hasbun, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

A less dramatic presentation―headache, nausea, minimal fever, and malaise―may be found in patients with low-grade ventriculitis associated with a ventriculoperitoneal shunt. Newborns and small infants also may not present with the classic symptoms, or the symptoms may be difficult to detect. An infant may appear only to be slow or inactive, or be irritable, vomiting, or feeding poorly. Other symptoms in this age group include temperature instability, high-pitched crying, respiratory distress, and bulging fontanelles (a late sign in one third of neonates).


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