Meningitis is a viral or bacterial infection of the delicate membranes surrounding the brain. It can also be caused by a head injury. Symptoms of meningitis are fever, nausea and vomiting with a stiff neck, a severe headache and intolerance to light. Patients may become delirious, abnormally sleep or drowsy, and can go into a coma.

Viral meningitis is less severe and recovery usually comes within two or three weeks. The bacterial type of meningitis can be more serious, and can result in deafness or brain damage, or even sometimes prove fatal.

Meningitis in babies is potentially more serious than in older children and there is a risk of brain damage if the disease is not diagnosed and treated in the early stages. It begins with a high fever, with the neck held rigid or the back arched, and either unusual irritability or quietness, and turning away from light. There may be vomiting or convulsions plus an unusual high-pitched cry and a purplish rash on the trunk. In infants, the fontanelle (the soft area on the top of the head where the skill bones have not yet knit) may bulge. This is caused by pressure of fluid around the brain. If meningitis is suspected, seek medical help immediately. The chances of a good recovery are high.

Chinese Medicine herbal treatment for meningitis has been very successful in China. In the recent past there were many epidemics, particularly in the north, and the hospitals routinely used Chinese herbs as treatment, with a high degree of success. One famous remedy in Chinese Medicine is called White Tiger Decoction, the main ingredients of which are gypsum and rice. These are simple things but they reduce the high fever and clear the infection from the brain. Modern medicine and Chinese Medicine used together is the most effective treatment.

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