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All about meningitis viral meningitis bacterial meningitis causes of meningitis causes of bacterial meningitis risk factors for meningitis complications of meningitis diagnosis of meningitis treatment for meningitis prevention of meningitis

What's viral meningitis?

Viral meningitis, also called aseptic meningitis, is the most common type. It is rarely fatal and usually resolves with treatment. Meningitis develops in fewer than 1 in 1000 people who are infected with one of the viruses associated with the condition. Viral meningitis is milder and occurs more often than bacterial meningitis. It usually develops in the late summer and early fall, often affects children and adults under 30. Seventy percent of the infections occur in children under the age of 5. Most viral meningitis is associated with enteroviruses, which are viruses that commonly cause stomach flu. However, many other types of viruses can also cause meningitis; for example, viral meningitis may occur as a complication in people with genital herpes.

The disease can be caused by many different viruses. Some of the viruses are transmitted by coughing or sneezing or through poor hygiene. Other viruses can be found in sewage polluted waters. Occasionally, viral meningitis will develop following the mumps or chicken pox. Mosquito-born viruses also account for a few cases each year. Approximately half of the viral cases in the United States are due to common intestinal viruses, or enteroviruses. These viruses are shed in the feces and in discharges from the mouth and nose. Most people who become infected.


More information on meningitis

What is meningitis? - Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges, the membrane envelopes that encase the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis can range from mild to life-threatening.
What's viral meningitis? - Viral meningitis, also called aseptic meningitis, is caused by many different viruses. Most viral meningitis is associated with enteroviruses.
What is bacterial meningitis? - Bacterial meningitis may be fatal or cause serious long-term complications. Acute bacterial meningitis is a true medical emergency.
What causes meningitis? - The most common infectious causes of meningitis vary according to an individual's age, habits, living environment, and health status.
What causes bacterial meningitis? - A number of types of bacteria can cause acute bacterial meningitis. They include pneumococcus, meningococcus, haemophilus, and listeria.
What're the risk factors for meningitis? - People who work with domestic animals and pregnant women are at increased risk for meningitis associated with listeriosis.
What're the complications of meningitis? - The complications of meningitis can be severe. Some of these effects are permanent and physically disabling.
How is meningitis diagnosed? - A number of techniques are used to verify the diagnosis. The most important test used to diagnose meningitis is the lumbar puncture.
What's the treatment for meningitis? - Antibiotic medications are the most important element of treatment against bacterial agents of meningitis.
How to prevent meningitis? - Vaccines to protect against S. pneumoniae and H. influenzae type b (Hib) are available and have dramatically reduced the number of meningitis cases.
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