Symptoms to Know
With the recent outbreak of meningitis in Ocala, Florida, it is imperative that you know the symptoms. Bacterial meningitis and viral meningitis can appear similar in early stages and only a doctor can determine which one is affecting you or your loved one. Meningitis is often mistaken for the flu and for anyone over the age of 2, the symptoms include:
- High fever
- Severe headache that is unrelenting
- Stiff neck
- Vomiting or nausea with headache
- Confusion or difficulty concentrating
- Sleepiness or difficulty waking
- Light sensitivity
- Loss of appetite for food or liquids
- Some cases include a rash
In newborns and infants up to the age of 2, the symptoms are:
- High fever
- Constant crying
- Excessive sleepiness or irritability
- Inactivity or sluggishness
- Poor feeding
- A bulge in the soft spot on top of a baby’s head (fontanel)
- Stiffness in a baby’s body and neck
- Difficult to comfort, worsens when held
When to see a doctor
Seek medical care right away if you or someone in your family has signs or symptoms of meningitis. Also, alert your doctor if someone you work with has been diagnosed with meningitis as you may need to take preventative medications.
Viral meningitis may improve in a few days without treatment. However, bacterial meningitis is extremely serious and must be treated immediately to prevent critical complications and even death. If you wait to see if the person improves it will greatly increase the risk of permanent brain damage and can prove fatal in a matter of days.
When to Seek Legal Help
The Florida Department of Health is still trying to answer questions of how this deadly meningitis breakout began. The New England Compounding Center located in Framingham, MA distributed a steroid linked to the outbreak has issued a voluntary recall of all of its products in early October.
Questions have also arisen concerning products received from Ameridose, a Massachusetts pharmacy company. Officials emphasize there have been no infections linked to Ameridose medications, but many of their products have been voluntarily recalled.
If you have received steroids or medications from these companies in question, and you begin to exhibit any of the symptoms of meningitis, seek medical help immediately. After your recovery has begun, please contact a knowledgeable meningitis lawyer (http://oldhamsmith.com/Personal-Injury/) who can guide you through recouping losses from medical bills and time off work.