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Red eyes, headache, dizziness, high temp at night, lost appetite, had sleepless nights & sore neck, had flu shot. Meningitis?

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My son had a sleep over three days ago and came home with very red eyes. I thought it was due to lack of sleep, however, he has been tired for three days now. Yesterday he started complaining of a headache and that has continued today. He has also stated he was dizzy today. I took his temp this morning and it was normal but tonight when I took it it was 101.9. He has not wanted much to eat today as well. Yesterday he woke up with a sore neck that quickly resolved and I thought he must have sleep wrong. He has said his neck has not been hurting anymore. He is eight years old and had his flu shot so I don't think it is the flu. I am concerned it might be meningitis but his neck is no longer sore so I am not sure if I need to be concerned.
Posted Sun, 6 May 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Rakesh Madhyastha 22 minutes later

Thanks for the query.

Your son is running high temperature, has head ache, dizziness and has lost his appetite.
The points going against the possible diagnosis of meningitis are that he has no neck pain/stiffness of the neck and also has no vomiting.

But, what I would like to highlight here is that, the symptoms of headache and dizziness are danger signals and means there is a possible involvement of the central nervous system structures especially when he is still running temperature.

In meningitis, it is true that there will be soreness of the neck, but it is not the case always especially more so in pediatric age group.

Please take him to a pediatrician immediately, he mostly requires treatment with antibiotics and also blood tests like complete blood count, blood culture, etc.

In the mean time, please do the following.
1. Tepid sponging, especially in areas of the neck, axilla and forehead to bring down fever.
2. Bland soft diet should be followed. Avoid milk and milk products.
3. Watch out for vomiting, irrelevant speech and abnormal movements.
4. Seizures.
5. Keep the room dim lit.
6. Adequate bed rest and reduced activity.

I hope, I have answered your query, if you have no follow up queries, please accept my answer.


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