SPENCER SUTTON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SPENCER SUTTON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Diagram illustrating the symptoms of spinal meningitis. Meningitis is an acute inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, known collectively as the meninges. It may be caused by infection with viruses, bacteria, or other microorganisms, or by certain drugs. Inflammation so close to the brain and spinal cord can be life-threatening, and meningitis is classified as a medical emergency.
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