Tachycardia and rapid breathing
Patients with meningitis often have tachycardia (an irregularly fast heart rate) and rapid breathing as a result of the inflammatory process in their nervous system. Tachycardia is a symptom related to the heart, but it counts as a meningeal symptom along with headache, fever, and mental changes because it is directly triggered by the brain in the event of acute inflammation.
In the brain there are also centers to control the rate of breathing, which is why it is also common to have rapid breathing or abnormal breathing patterns. We should be very careful to see them, especially in younger children. Sometimes, patients would have a primary respiratory infection and a secondary meningitis, and this aggravates their respiratory symptoms.