Meningitis is diagnosed by taking a medical history and doing a physical examination. Age, living in a dorm, and attendance at a day care center can all be useful indicators. During the physical examination, your doctor will look for the following things:
- a high temperature
- an elevated pulse rate
- stiffness in the neck
- decreased awareness
A lumbar puncture will also be ordered by your doctor. A spinal tap is another name for this test. It enables your doctor to examine your central nervous system for signs of elevated pressure. Inflammation or bacteria can also be found in the spinal fluid. This test can also help you figure out which antibiotic is best for you. Other tests to diagnose meningitis may be required. The following are examples of common tests:
- Bacteria in the blood are identified using blood cultures. Bacteria have the ability to migrate from the bloodstream to the brain. Both sepsis and meningitis can be caused by a variety of bacteria, including N. meningitidis and S. pneumonia.
- A differential complete blood count is a general health indicator. The number of red and white blood cells in your blood is counted. Infection is fought by white blood cells. In meningitis, the count is frequently high.
- Pneumonia, TB, and fungal infections can all be detected using chest X-rays. Meningitis can develop as a result of pneumonia.
- A head CT scan may reveal issues such as a brain abscess or sinusitis. From the sinuses to the meninges, bacteria can spread.
A glass test may also be performed by your doctor. Your doctor will do this test by rolling a glass over the meningitis rash. It’s most probable meningitis rash if the rash doesn’t diminish under pressure. The strange markings on the skin may be the result of some other ailment if it fades.
Always consult your doctor.