Fungal Meningitis (cont.)

Risk Factors

Certain diseases, medications, and surgical procedures may weaken the immune system and increase your risk of getting fungal infection, which can lead to fungal meningitis. Premature babies with very low birth weights are also at increased risk for getting Candida blood stream infection, which may spread to the brain.

Living in certain areas of the United States may increase your risk for fungal lung infections, which can also spread to the brain. For example, bird and bat droppings in the Midwestern United States may contain Histoplasma, and soil in the Southwestern United States may contain Coccidioides.

African Americans, Filipinos, pregnant women in the third trimester, and people with weak immune systems are more likely to get Coccidiodes infection, which is also called valley fever.

Signs & Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of fungal meningitis may include the following:


If meningitis is suspected, samples of blood or cerebrospinal fluid (near the spinal cord) are collected and sent to a laboratory for testing. Knowing the specific cause of meningitis is important because the severity of illness and the treatment will differ depending on the cause.

To confirm fungal meningitis, specific lab tests can be performed, depending on the type of fungus suspected.

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Fungal Meningitis - Exposure Question: Have you recently had an epidural steroid injection? If so, are you worried about being exposed to fungal meningitis?