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Quick Facts

Overview of Brain Infections

By

The Manual's Editorial Staff

Last full review/revision Sep 2020| Content last modified Sep 2020
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Brain infections are very serious and can be fatal. They can be caused by:

  • Viruses (most common)

  • Bacteria

  • Fungi or parasites (rare)

How do infections get in your brain?

Infections usually start somewhere else. They can get to your brain and meninges in several ways:

  • From an infection nearby, such as in your teeth, sinuses, or ears

  • Through your blood from another part of your body

  • Directly from the outside, for example, through a skull fracture or during brain surgery

Infections that spread through your blood sometimes come from bug bites, particularly from mosquitoes and ticks.

What are the symptoms of brain infections?

How do doctors diagnose brain infections?

How do doctors treat brain infections?

Doctors try to treat the cause of the infection. Antiviral drugs or antibiotics work for some infections but not all. Doctors also give medicine to relieve symptoms. If needed, they may put the person on a ventilator Ventilators Ventilation is the same thing as breathing. It's the movement of air into and out of your lungs. Sometimes your breathing needs to be assisted by a ventilator. A ventilator is a machine that... read more or give treatments to support the person's blood pressure.

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Abscess of the Brain
A brain abscess is a pocket of pus in the brain. Which of the following is NOT a common cause of a brain abscess?
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