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Fungal Meningitis

What is fungal meningitis?

Fungal meningitis is inflammation of the lining that surrounds and protects your brain and spinal cord. The inflammation is caused by a fungal infection and can be life-threatening.

What causes fungal meningitis?

Fungus germs live in soil. It is not easily spread from person to person. You may be more likely to get fungal meningitis if you have other medical problems, such as diabetes, cancer, or HIV. You are also more likely to get it if you take certain medicines over a long period of time.

What are the signs and symptoms of fungal meningitis?

  • Severe headache
  • High fever
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Stiff neck or neck pain
  • Eye pain when you look into bright lights
  • Sleepiness or confusion.

How is fungal meningitis diagnosed?

  • A CT , or CAT scan, takes pictures of your skull and brain. You may be given contrast liquid before the scan. Tell a healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid.
  • Lumbar puncture: This procedure may also be called a spinal tap. During a lumbar puncture, you will need to lie very still. Caregivers may give you medicine to make you lose feeling in a small area of your back. Caregivers will clean this area of your back. A needle will be put in, and fluid removed from around your spinal cord. The fluid will be sent to a lab for tests. The tests check for infection, bleeding around your brain and spinal cord, or other problems. Sometimes medicine may be put into your back to treat your illness.
  • An MRI of the head takes pictures of your brain, blood vessels, and skull. You may be given contrast liquid to help the pictures show up better. Tell a healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid. Do not enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell a healthcare provider if you have any metal in or on your body.

How is fungal meningitis treated?

You may need the following treatments:

  • Antifungal medicine: This medicine helps kill the fungus causing your infection. Some other medicines cannot be taken with antifungal medicine. Tell your caregiver if you are taking other medicines, vitamins, herbs, or food supplements.
  • Fever medicine: This medicine lowers your temperature. Common medicines used to lower temperature include acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
  • Steroids: This medicine may be given to decrease inflammation.
  • Antinausea medicine: This medicine may be given to calm your stomach and prevent vomiting.

When should I contact my caregiver?

Contact your caregiver if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition, medicine, or care.

When should I seek immediate care?

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You are hard to wake. Tell someone to call 911 if it becomes hard to wake you.
  • You have a headache and stiff neck.
  • You are confused.
  • You have a seizure.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2015 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.