Symptoms of serious illness

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Immediate medical care may be needed if a headache, vomiting, fever, or a seizure occurs along with another serious illness. Symptoms of a serious illness include:

  • Severe neck stiffness or pain.
  • Confusion or extreme irritability.
  • Extreme sleepiness.
  • Persistent nausea or vomiting.
  • Severe sensitivity to light (photophobia).
  • Unsteadiness that prevents standing or walking (ataxia or vertigo).
  • New double vision, blurred vision, or blind spots.
  • Very rapid, difficult breathing.
  • Severe pain.
  • New and different skin rash or severe bruises.
  • New swelling, pain, redness, or warmth in one or more joints.



The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.