Meningitis symptoms in adults

Meningitis and septicaemia can happen together. Find out about all of the meningitis symptoms in adults here, and if you are unsure about the condition be sure to seek immediate medical help

Meningitis signs and symptoms - adults

DO NOT wait for a rash. If an adult is ill and getting worse, get medical help immediately.

Symptoms can appear in any order. Some may not appear at all. 

Common signs & symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia in adults

  • Adult with a fever

    Fever, cold hands and feet

  • Adult vomiting

    Vomiting

  • A sleepy adult

    Drowsy, difficult to wake

  • A confused adult

    Confusion and irritability

  • Adult with severe muscle pain

    Severe muscle pain

  • A pale adult

    Pale, blotchy skin. Spots/rash
    See the Glass Test

  • Adult looking fretful

    Severe headache

  • Adult with stiff neck

    Stiff neck

  • Adult disliking the light

    Dislike bright lights

  • Adult having convulsions

    Convulsions/seizures

Early symptoms can include:

Fever, headache, vomiting, muscle pain and fever with cold hands and feet.

Someone with meningitis or septicaemia can get a lot worse very quickly. Keep checking them.

Trust your instincts – Get medical help immediately

Get medical help immediately

Find out more about meningitis, as well as the symptoms in this short video:

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