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Though largely controlled, meningitis can be fatal

Joseph Domachowske, MDMeningitis can range from unpleasant to deadly and typically causes a headache, fever, stiff neck and sensitivity to light as the membranes, or meninges, surrounding the brain and spinal cord become inflamed, explains Joseph Domachowske, MD, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Upstate. The more serious, or bacterial, form of the disease can be “really scary” and spread quickly among otherwise healthy people living in close quarters under stress, such as college dormitories and military barracks, he says. The less serious, or aseptic, form is usually caused by a virus, he says, noting who is most at risk and treatments for the disease, which has been largely controlled in the U.S. through vaccines.