This is topic Could Meningitis Really be Lyme? in forum Medical Questions at LymeNet Flash.

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Posted by Leelee (Member # 19112) on :
The college-age daughter of an acquaintance of mine was diagnosed with meningitis and put on 30 days of IV antibiotics.

She knows of no one else who has/had meningitis.

The wheels in my head started turning and I began to wonder if Lyme, the "imitator", could really be the cause of her illness.

The teenager lives in a wooded environment, has a dog, and ticks have been noted extensively in the area, although not necessarily on her.

Thanks for your thoughts.
Posted by AliG (Member # 9734) on :
Lyme can certainly cause bacterial meningitis.

There's info all over the place on that one.

I believe that it's been called a "second-stage" symptom of "early disseminated Lyme Disease".

There are also many different causes of meningitis.

I believe that viral is known to be highly contagious and cause higher fevers. Lyme would fall under bacterial meningitis.

Any chance she's had a known tick-bite?
Posted by Leelee (Member # 19112) on :
Thank you, AliG.

I don't know if she had a tick bite or not, but I wouldn't be surprised. Ticks are everywhere in the area where she lives.

I really do wonder about her diagnosis.
Posted by AliG (Member # 9734) on :
Many people also never notice the tick on them because they can be so tiny & hide in the hair etc.

It would still be possible, even if she didn't know about one.

I'd encourage her to have some testing done through a reputable lab, along with coinfection tests for any that may be endemic in her area.

ESPECIALLY if she ends up having symptoms other than menengitis that she may not connect. (flulike illness, muscle/joint pains, odd rashes....well you probably already know the list [Roll Eyes] [bonk] )
Posted by Lymetoo (Member # 743) on :
Meningitis is rampant in colleges these days. Very common .. even if she doesn't personally know of someone with it.

Google "meningitis on college campuses" and you'll find more.
Posted by Leelee (Member # 19112) on :
She is the daughter of my sister's friend. They live down the street from each other and although I have met her a few times, I'm not really close to her.

My sister had the same exact thought I did, "uh oh, that sounds like Lyme". But she hasn't brought the subject up with her friend yet.

It is tragic. The young woman had to leave college this semester to come home for IV treatments.

I agree with you that she may not have even noticed the tiny tick. So many people I have spoken with tell me the same thing.

I really appreciate your thoughtful responses. [Smile]

Posted by Leelee (Member # 19112) on :
Thank you, Lymetoo. Another thoughtful point of view to consider. [Smile]
Posted by Pinelady (Member # 18524) on :
Wait a minute.

My little sister had bacteria spinal meningitis

from strep and when she left the hospital she was well on her way to being well,

but the damage was done and she was left with seizures.

She did not go home with more IV or meds.

But we did have to take it for prevention.

Viral can be worse in that there is little treatments available.

It can cause the same damage.

What bacterial infection other than Bb can survive IV antibiotics?

If they gave her 30 days of IV I am guessing they know or suspect what it is.

Another question to ask is did she have the HIB vaccine and was it recently?

Most college students do.

Like before school started or mid term?

If it was recent it needs reported.

CDC warned Jan. 09 of the slight risk of vaccine induced meningitis with the HIb vaccine.
Posted by shazdancer (Member # 1436) on :
Yes, there are different causes of meningitis (inflammation of the meninges, the membrane around the brain and spinal cord), including Lyme disease.
See Table 1
Posted by bettyg (Member # 6147) on :
yes, it is one symptom of lyme.

i'm going to include this long list as someone else was just asking about sleep apnea/lyme also...

Lymeneter Kay found this list of symptoms at
It says it all:

Tick Borne Disease - Symptom A to Z
Lyme Disease is systemic, it can effect the whole body.
This page lists the possible symptoms.

Abdominal Pain
Achiness (Generalised)
Acrodermatitis Chronica Atrophicans/ ACA
Alcohol - Extreme Effects Of
Anxiety Attacks
Back Pain
Balance Problems
Bell's Palsy
Bladder Problems
Blood Pressure - Raised
Bone Erosion
Bone Pain
Bowel Problems
Bradycardia - Slow Heart Beat
Brain Fog
Breast Discharge
Breast Pain
Breathlessness - Air Hunger
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Chest Pain
Cholesterol - Raised
Clicking Joints
Cold Feet
Costochondritis / Ribcage Pain
Cough (Non-Productive)
Deafness / Hearing Loss
Dental Pain
Difficulty Concentrating
Diverticulosis / Spastic Colon
Ear Pains
Encephalitis/ Encephalopathy
Erythema Migrans Rash
Facial Pain
Facial Palsy
Fasciculations / Muscle Twitches
Flu-Like Symptoms
Fluctuations of Symptoms
Foot Pain
Hair Loss
Hearing Loss
Heart Block
Heart Problems - ECG Abnormalities
Hyper Sensitive Hearing
Hyperacusis - Sound sensitivity
Inability to Concentrate
Inability to Remember Words
Involuntary Jerking, Limbs and Trunk
Irritable Bowel
Jaw pain/ Temporomandibular joint disorder
Joint Problems
Joint Swelling
Knee Joint Pain
Libido - Loss Of
Light Sensitivity
Liver Problems - Raised Enzymes
Malar (Facial) Rash
Marked Personality Changes
Memory Loss
Meniere's Disease
Menstrual Irregularities
Miosis - Decreased Pupil Size
Mood Swings
Motion Sickness
Muscle Aches
Muscle Spasm
Myoclonic (Involuntary) Jerking
Neck Pain
Nerve Conduction Defects
Optic Neuropathy
Panic Attacks
Paraesthesia / Abnormal Skin Sensations
PMS - Pre-Menstrual Syndrome
Psychiatric Problems
Ptosis - Drooping Eyelid
Retinal vasculitis
Reynauld's Syndrome - Cold Hands & Feet
Shooting Pains
Shortness of Breath
Shoulder Pain
Skin Sensitivity
Sleep - Excessive
Sleep Apnea
Sleep Disturbances
Sleep Inability
Slurring of Speech
Smell Sensitivity
Sore Throats
Speech - Slurred, Slow
Speech Errors
Spinal Disc Problems
Stiff Joints
Stiff Neck
Swallowing Difficulty / Dysphagia
Sweating (Profuse)
Swollen Glands
Symptom Flares - Approx 4 Weekly
Tachycardia - Fast Heart Beat
Testicular Pain
Tingling of Extremities
Tinnitus / Ringing in Ears
TMJ - Jaw Pain / Stiffness
Tongue Numbness
Tongue Pain
Tooth Pains
Tremors / Shaking
Vasculitis - Circulation Problems
Vibration Sensitivity
Visual Disturbances
Weakness or Paralysis
Weight Gain
Weight Loss
Word Block
Posted by duke77 (Member # 5051) on :
I believe that viral is known to be highly contagious and cause higher fevers
It is actually bacteria meningitis that is the highly contagious and the dangerous one. Bacteria meningitis causes high fevers and seizures. Viral usually runs it course, bacteria meningitis is often fatal or with severe health concerns. There was a sad story on the local news a year ago about a family whose 18month old son got bacteria meningitis and they had to amputate all of his limbs. Very bad disease bacteria meningitis and highly, highly contagious.
Posted by kellyjk4 (Member # 19731) on :
Is lyme disease only associated with bacterial meningitis?

I had viral meningitis 17 years ago. There was nothing drs could do for me except put me in the hospital and try to control my pain.

Since then, my hearing has never been the same and I have migraine headaches.

Could this be from the lyme disease as well?
Posted by lymeparfait (Member # 14268) on :
Lyme disease is definately associated with it. My nephew had a similar experience in college.

Lyme is the trigger for most...but you will find you have other things as well. Don't be alarmed, just test and start an appropriate treatment.

Do not go to an infectious disease Dr. Find someone from the "Find a Dr. site" here on lymenet. a LLMD.

Get the Igenex test. Test for all virus and bacteria also with blood work. Get nutritional support immediately and hydrate them with electrolytes (emergen C) not gatorade.

College age kids are under stress and it appears at this time when in the chonic state....get tested. You could save them from a future disability and help them now while their immune system is still strong!

Do not ignore this, especially if symptoms go away for awhile. It will come back as something else, and the diagnosis will confuse you and pull you in other directions.

Lyme and all the co infectins that come with it are sneeky critters!

Posted by bejoy (Member # 11129) on :
Lyme can cause bacterial meningitis from the Lyme spirochete.

Tick bites can also can carry at least two different viruses that can cause meningitis. I have had this as an adult, and probably also undiagnosed as a child in CT.

There are many other possible causes of meningitis besides Lyme Disease and coinfections.

My favorite treatment for Lyme coinfection viral meningitis is a Deseret Biologicals homeopathic product called "LYM."

I used it to effectively clear out my headache, neckacke, and remaining mental confusion symptoms.
Posted by jt345 (Member # 19638) on :

Durning my last herx,I had a temp of 102,sore neck,and a really bad headache. My normal temp since lyme is around 96.

My wife freaked and made me go to emergency care. They freaked as well,That was the first thing they checked for.

After the test came back as negitive for menigitis,they ran another test just too be sure.
When that one came back negitive,they called my wife out of the room and told her,they wanted too keep me until my fever broke.
I was in the hospital for two days,before it finally dropped down to 98. And they still said I could not have lyme,because I had been treated for it.

They did agree I had something but they had no clue. I don;t know the number of tests they ran ,but it was a fistful. Each time they hit a brick wall,and never came up with what could of caused the fever and brain swell.
Posted by METALLlC BLUE (Member # 6628) on :
It's possible, but obviously she needs to investigate a variety of possibilities starting with the most probable causes. Lyme is not "the most probable" cause usually, but it should be included in the differential at some point if exposure, symptoms, or other history is compatible with it.

Remember, Lyme is one of thousands of potential candidates.

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