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A 21-year-old member asked:

what is the difference between meningitis and encephalitis?

2 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 33 years experience
Different locations: Meningitis is inflammation or infection of the fluid (cerebrospinal fluid) and membranes (meninges) covering the brain and spinal cord. Encephalitis is inflammation or infection of the brain tissue itself. When the two diseases happen together, it is called meningoencephalitis.
Dr. William Goldie
Pediatric Neurology 48 years experience
Location, location: The meninges is a thick set of membranes that cover the brain. There is fluid within these membranes that can become infected. There may be some spread into vessels that go into the brain. The encephalon is the brain cells. If infection affects the meninges it is meningitis. If the infection gets into brain cells, it is encephalitis.

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A member asked:

What are the differences between viral and bacterial meningitis?

3 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Julia Lee
Specializes in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Symptoms are similar: Meningitis is an infection of the tissues surrounding the brain. Symptoms may include fever, headache, a stiff neck (an inability to touch the chin to the chest) and a rash. Generally bacterial meningitis is more serious than viral. However, intravenous antibiotics and other medications are usually initiated until laboratory results and other tests confirm the cause.
A 21-year-old member asked:

Is encephalitis genetic?

2 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Steven Bowers
Internal Medicine 33 years experience
No: Encephalitis is an inflammatory process involving the brain that is usually caused by infection, either viral or bacterial.
A 21-year-old member asked:

What is west nile encephalitis?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 33 years experience
Mosquito-borne virus: West nile virus, transmitted by mosquito bites, can cause encephalitis, inflammation in the brain. There is no vaccine available to protect a person from west nile virus.
A 21-year-old member asked:

How is bacterial meningitis diagnosed?

3 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ryan Stanton
Emergency Medicine 18 years experience
Spinal Tap: The standard for diagnosis of bacterial meningitis is the lumbar puncture. In the procedure, a needle is inserted in the lower back to get CSF which is the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. That fluid is then tested for infection.
A 21-year-old member asked:

Can bacterial meningitis be treated?

4 doctor answers13 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kevin Daus
Obstetrics and Gynecology 37 years experience
Yes: With antibiotics.

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Last updated Oct 6, 2014
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