Types of meningitis

Meningitis is just meningitis, right? Well, not exactly… 

There are many types and causes of meningitis, and these types are split into different strains… that’s when it begins to get a bit complicated


Most types of meningitis can be divided into two groups: bacterial meningitis and viral meningitis. The symptoms of both are very similar so always seek medical help if you are concerned.

Viral Meningitis 

Although it’s rarely life threatening, viral meningitis can make you very unwell and the after-effects can change your life dramatically. It affects thousands of people every year and is often dismissed as the ‘mild form of meningitis’. This is not always the case. Recovery can be slow and can leave behind ongoing headaches, exhaustion and memory loss for years to come.

Want to know more? Download our viral meningitis fact sheet 

Bacterial meningitis

Bacterial meningitis is a life threatening disease that anyone can be faced with. It can occur within any age group, at any time, and requires urgent medical attention. 

There are many types of bacterial meningitis. The most common include meningococcal, pneumococcal, TB, GBS, E.coli and Hib

Currently there is no vaccine to protect against all types of bacterial meningitis. However, if recognised and treated quickly, it is much less likely to become life-threatening.

Identifying the disease as soon as possible is the most effective form of defence against all meningitis strains. Know what to look for with our signs and symptoms guide.

Have you been affected by meningitis? Do you have any unanswered questions? We’re here to help. Contact us via Facebook or Twitter, or call our helpline on 0808 80 10 388.