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After Effects

Most people who have meningitis make a full recovery, but it can take time.


Some may experience a range of different after-effects, which can range from mild to more serious and disabling. Many children and adults with meningitis recover without experiencing after-effects at all. 

After-effects and complications are more common with bacterial meningitis. Around 15% of patients are left with serious impairments that require on-going support. Many more survivors will experience a range of short-term or less serious problems. Septicaemia can lead to limb amputations and skin scarring. 

Although it is rarely life threatening, viral meningitis can make people very unwell. It is usually a mild illness characterized by fever, severe headache, aches and pains. After-effects of viral meningitis occur more often in newborn infants or in the elderly than in children, adolescents, or adults.

List of meningitis after-effects

Please note: this list of possible after effects is not exhaustive

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