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A: It can be really hard. I think that is what is so frightening for parents. We like to believe we can control our situations and it can be difficult. I think meningitis is easier - the symptoms are headache , intolerance to light, stiff neck and back, high fever , nausea and vomiting . For an older child, of course, that is much easier to figure out than in a younger child. Sepsis symptoms, however, can be even more confusing. A child can be fine or have muscle pain and nausea that looks like an influenza infection, but then rapidly progress and develop a petechial rash - that looks like broken blood vesicles and means something is horribly wrong.