Meningitis can be a life-threatening illness requiring urgent medical treatment. Learn more about meningitis, including the common symptoms.
People with meningitis will usually be admitted to hospital, although some people with viral meningitis can be cared for at home with close medical supervision.
There are many different symptoms and after-effects of meningitis. If you are worried that you or someone you care for may have meningitis, you should see a doctor immediately. Here’s advice on when to seek medical attention.
What causes meningitis?
Meningitis is usually caused by viruses or bacteria. Occasionally it’s caused by parasites or fungi. Find out how these bugs are spread, the difference between viral and bacterial meningitis and the importance of immunisation.
Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) is a dangerous infection, although the routine vaccination of babies has meant it is now rare in Australia. Learn more here.
Primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM)
Primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), also called amoebic meningitis, is a rare, but serious disease that leads to inflammation of the brain.
Links to articles about pneumococcal disease.
Meningococcal disease is a serious infection caused by Meningococcus bacteria. It can develop quickly, and it can be fatal. Learn about the bacteria and how it’s spread, common symptoms and when to seek medical attention.
Free meningococcal vaccine to help protect Australian teenagers
More than 1 million teenagers will get a free meningococcal vaccine over the next 4 years, once it's added to the National Immunisation Schedule in April 2019.
Symptoms of serious illness in babies and children
If your child has a serious illness, it’s important to get medical attention quickly. Learn how to recognise the symptoms and what to do.