Doctor's Notes on Meningitis in Adults Meningitis is inflammation of the meninges, the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis can also be associated with inflammation of the brain tissue itself, known as encephalitis. Meningitis may be caused by infections by a number of different viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. Common signs & symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia in adults. Fever, cold hands and feet. Vomiting. Drowsy, difficult to wake. Confusion and irritability. Severe muscle pain. Pale, blotchy skin. Spots/rash. See the Glass Test.