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Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the
Harvard Medical School

Diagnosis

Meningitis is diagnosed by testing some of the fluid that surrounds the spinal cord for disease-causing bacteria or infection-fighting cells. The fluid is removed from the spinal cord with a needle in a procedure known as a spinal tap or lumbar puncture.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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