Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Meningitis Viral Overview

Another name for Meningitis Viral is Viral Meningitis.

What is viral meningitis?
A person with viral meningitis has inflammation of the dura, which is the protective lining that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. The inflammation is caused by a viral infection. Meningitis can be caused by infection with bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi. Most people recover completely from viral meningitis, while bacterial meningitis can result in death unless it is treated early. About 9,000 people in the US develop viral meningitis each year.

What are the symptoms of viral meningitis?
Initial symptoms of viral meningitis include headache, nausea, neck pain, fever, sensitivity to bright light, and fatigue. Symptoms of worsening viral meningitis may include severe headache, severe neck pain, confusion, excessive sleepiness, and vomiting.

How does the doctor treat viral meningitis?
Treatment for viral meningitis includes rest, plenty of liquids, and acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain and fever. Additional treatment may include antiviral medication.

Continue to Meningitis Viral Incidence

Last Updated: Feb 12, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Meningitis Viral References
  1. Attia J, Hatala R, Cook DJ, Wong JG. The rational clinical examination. Does this adult patient have acute meningitis? JAMA. 1999 Jul 14;282(2):175-81. [10411200]
  2. Khetsuriani N, Quiroz ES, Holman RC, Anderson LJ. Viral meningitis-associated hospitalizations in the United States, 1988-1999. Neuroepidemiology. 2003 Nov-Dec;22(6):345-52. [14557685]
  3. Romero JR, Newland JG. Viral meningitis and encephalitis: traditional and emerging viral agents. Semin Pediatr Infect Dis. 2003 Apr;14(2):72-82. [12881794]
  4. Rotbart HA. Viral meningitis. Semin Neurol. 2000;20(3):277-92. [11051293]
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