Bacterial meningitis manifests most commonly with fever, headache, and a stiff neck; the disease may progress rapidly to shock and death. However, other manifestations may be observed.
Laboratory Criteria for Diagnosis
Isolation of a bacterial species from the cerebrospinal fluid
A clinically compatible case that is either laboratory confirmed or is accompanied by a positive blood culture
Cases of bacterial meningitis caused by Haemophilus influenzae, Neisseria meningitidis, group A Streptococcus, and Listeria monocytogenes should be reported to CDC's National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System under the disease codes specific for these organisms. Only cases of bacterial meningitis caused by organisms other than those specified should be reported as cases of "meningitis, other bacterial."