Before I mention two Meningitis warning signs, I would like to explain in simple terms what Meningitis is. It is simply the inflammation of “meninges” lining surrounding the brain, and the spinal chord. This can cause disability or even prove fatal. Obviously the signs or symptoms would be inline with the reactions or rather lack of reactions from the brain, through the spinal chord to the respective nerve ending. Any action or re-action is originated from the brain. Visa-versa any lack of reaction or action would mean some part of the brain is malfunctioning.
Those signs, which occur within first, eight hours of an attack of meningitis, are most important. In simple word if you are looking out for common symptoms then you run the risk of overlooking the typical symptoms, relating to the more deadly and critical strain of meningitis, and it may be too late to stop irreparable damage. Symptoms differ from person to person, so all the more difficult to categorize.
Two major signs or rather visible signs are sudden pain in the leg disallowing the child or patient to even stand, walk or move his/her leg. The pain may be unbearable or sometimes even not so painful as for the patient to even feel it essential to report to the parent or doctor. Hence parental observation or rather Neglect or even such a small symptom could be dangerous. Often we neglect uncommon pain in the body or joints as a sigh of tiredness or weakness. But it should not be neglected or overlooked if it persists. A thorough medical examination by a professional doctor would be the first advice. Though many symptoms may miss even the trained eye.
An unfamiliar symptom, which is typical to meningitis, is the hands and feet becoming cold when the patient is having a fever. (One may find this symptom a bit unnerving or contradictory!), but yes this can happen. Fever which may not go down with medication, accompanied by cold shivers, pain in muscles, joints, chest or abdomen. This symptom is more prevalent in babies, so all the more critical to analyze and report to the doctor for treatment.
The symptoms may not come or appear all at one time so it becomes all the more difficult for diagnosis. However it is best advised to take medical assistance quickly if you experience several or more of the typical symptoms along with patient looking rather unwell or tired or simply (Unlike him/her).