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Doctor insights on: Viral Meningitis

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Dr. Gutti Rao
166 Doctors shared insights

Viral Meningitis (Overview)

Viral meningitis is inflammation of the tissues in the brain and spinal cord that is caused most commonly by enteroviruses. Viral meningitis is not usually as severe as bacterial meningitis and usually resolves without any treatment. However, viral meningitis that is caused by the herpes virus can be life threatening if left untreated. Symptoms include fever, neck stiffness, headache, malaise, and confusion.


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What is viral meningitis?

What is viral meningitis?

Aseptic: Meningitis is an inflammation of the outer coating of the brain. A spinal tap will show inflammatory cells in spinal fluid. Bacteria will be seen and cultured if present. If nothing grows it is considered aseptic. This usually means that a virus is the cause. Special tests and cultures may or may not identify the virus. Viruses may infect the brain itself causing encephalitis.

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Dr. Gutti Rao
166 Doctors shared insights

Viral Meningitis (Overview)

Viral meningitis is inflammation of the tissues in the brain and spinal cord that is caused most commonly by enteroviruses. Viral meningitis is not usually as severe as bacterial meningitis and usually resolves without any treatment. However, viral meningitis that is caused by the herpes virus can be life threatening if left untreated. Symptoms include fever, neck stiffness, headache, malaise, and confusion.


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What is the treatment for viral meningitis?

What is the treatment for viral meningitis?

Symptomatic: Most viral meningitis is treated symtomatically (treating the pain, nausea, and vomiting) with the exception of herpes meningoencephalitis which is treated with an antibiotic.

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What are the symptoms of viral meningitis I could notice?

What are the symptoms of viral meningitis I could notice?

See below: Fever, photophobia, stiff neck, irritability, nausea, vomiting etc. See this site for more info. Http://www. Cdc. Gov/meningitis/viral. Html.

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How long does the viral meningitis virus stay in your body? If I feel completely fine after 12 days, does it mean I am cured?

How long does the viral meningitis virus stay in your body? If I feel completely fine after 12 days, does it mean I am cured?

Yes, most likely: Viral meningitis usually lasts from 7-10 days. If she is without symptoms and able to resume her activities without pain or disability, I would say she is cured.

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When someone is symptom free from viral meningitis, are they no longer contagious? My friend just has a runny nose, otherwise he is fine, no fever.

When someone is symptom free from viral meningitis, are they no longer contagious? My friend just has a runny nose, otherwise he is fine, no fever.

Aseptic meningitis: Usually the patient with viral meningitis becomes contagious for 3-5 days before the onset of symptoms to 7-10 days after the symptoms show up. Runny nose could be sign of allergies. The best way to confirm would be sending nasal swab for viral cultures.

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What are the symptoms of viral meningitis I could notice?

See below: Fever, photophobia, stiff neck, irritability, nausea, vomiting etc. See this site for more info. Http://www. Cdc. Gov/meningitis/viral. Html.

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What are the signs and symptoms of viral meningitis?

What are the signs and symptoms of viral meningitis?

Aseptic: Meningitis is an inflammation of the outer coating of the brain. A spinal tap will show inflammatory cells in spinal fluid. Bacteria will be seen and cultured if present. If nothing grows it is considered aseptic. This usually means that a virus is the cause. Special tests and cultures may or may not identify the virus. Viruses may infect the brain itself causing encephalitis.

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What should I do if two kids at school have been diagnosed with viral meningitis, and I don't want to contract this disease?

What should I do if two kids at school have been diagnosed with viral meningitis, and I don't want to contract this disease?

Avoid/vaccine: The short term answer is avoid them until their illness resolves. The longer-term answer is to get vaccinated against the disease.

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What are diagnostic tests for viral meningitis?

What are diagnostic tests for viral meningitis?

Spinal Tap: The most important test to diagnose viral meningitis is a spinal tap. The fluid removed can give the answer sometimes immediately after looking at it but the culture will be most important to see if it is viral or bacterial.

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What causes viral meningitis?

A number of viruses: Fairly common ones are enteroviruses, varicella, and mumps virus.

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How is viral meningitis treated?

Acyclovir: The most serious viral infection is herpes. The only available treatment is acyclovir. Certain viral epidemics occur that may be protected by immunization shots. Most viral infections of the brain resolve on their own. Supportive care is the only and best treatment.

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What is the treatment for viral meningitis?

Symptomatic: Most viral meningitis is treated symtomatically (treating the pain, nausea, and vomiting) with the exception of herpes meningoencephalitis which is treated with an antibiotic.

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Are there any treatments for post viral meningitis headaches?

Are there any treatments for post viral meningitis headaches?

Yes: Persistent chronic (15 or more days per month) postmeningitis headaches are treated like chronic migraine or chronic tension type headaches depending upon the features of the headache. Narcotic medications are avoid since they can cause medication rebound headaches if taken more than twice a week.

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How is viral meningitis treated? Does acyclovir tablets help? What can reduces the headache and stop vomiting?

Supportive care: Pain relievers can help w/headache while antiemetics can help w/vomiting. These can be prescribed by doc who diagnosed you w/viral meningitis. Acyclovir will only help if meningitis is due to herpes. Supportive is all that can be done for next several days until symptoms resolve.

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I have herpes. Am I at risk for viral meningitis?

I have herpes. Am I at risk for viral meningitis?

Yes, but. ..: Since herpes simplex virus is a cause of viral meningitis, a person with herpes is at some risk for viral meningitis. However, viral meningitis is not common, can be from other viruses, and some people who get herpes meningitis never had herpes sores before. So, a normal person with herpes should not worry too much about meningitis, since his risk is likely similar to the risk everyone else has.

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How can viral meningitis be avoided?

Hand-washing: Viral meningitis is spread by fecal-oral contact, which means you can contract it if you touch an object contaminated with the virus. Frequent hand-washing and ensuring that children wear swim diapers in the pool are two good ways to avoid exposure.

Dr. Richard Auerbach
110 Doctors shared insights

Aseptic Meningitis (Definition)

Aseptic meningitis is a condition caused by a viral infection that results in inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. It occurs more often in the summer and fall months. Although aseptic (or viral) meningitis is a serious disease, patients generally recover. There may be no additional symptoms present or individuals may have symptoms of a cold or a rash ...Read more


Dr. William Singer
844 Doctors shared insights

Meningitis (Definition)

A condition in which the membrane surrounding the brain and spinal cord becomes inflamed. Symptoms include headaches, fever, stiff neck, and a sensitivity to light. There are two primary types of ...Read more