What happens if I have cold symptoms with a stiff/sore neck?

I went to student health services today and yesterday, and they couldn’t tell me what was wrong with me. They did make it a point to check to see if my neck was stiff or hurt to move.

They’re now closed for the evening, and I’ve developed stiffness in the neck. Is this something that I should be terribly worried about, or just a sign of what it is?

I got my flu shot a few months ago, if that helps.

Yes, the neck stiffness could be indicative of meningitis, which can be life-threatening. What that link mentions (scan down to the “children and adults” section) is a stiffness preventing a patient from being able to touch his chest with his chin.

Meningitis outbreaks in campus housing have increased in recent years. IIRC, many colleges and universities now recommend or require their incoming freshmen to get immunized for it. Do you remember if you were immunized for this?

My advice would be to not delay in seeking a second opinion, at the local hospital emergency room if necessary, especially if you’ve developed a sudden, distinct stiffness of that kind in your neck. If you have, you should probably visit the ER tonight, because meningitis symptoms tend to worsen rapidly. If you can get someone to take you there, so much the better – you don’t know how long you’ll be there or how rapidly your symptoms might worsen. If your roommate isn’t around, leave a note or message with someone reliable, such as a dormitory floor advisor or resident, about your symptoms and concerns. If he’s developing the same, your timely alert could be critical for his treatment and recovery, and for anybody else should this prove to be the first sign of a larger meningitis outbreak on your campus. (Should your case prove positive for meningitis, your student paper should run a story, alerting the student body to the danger.)

Good luck.

Well, I can still touch my chin to my chest, it just hurts a bit. The nurses mentioned that there was “a flu-like disease” going around campus, and that they almost all tested negative for the influenza virus.

Of the symptoms listed there, I have:
Stiff neck, but still able to touch chin to chest
Fever, but not high fever
Headache, but not severe headache. (Given that it’s based in my sinuses, I’m led to think that it’s sinus related)

If I haven’t gotten better by Monday, I’m planning on making an appointment with the APN at school, or if I get worse, I’ll go to the emergency room.

Thanks, guys