Viral Meningitis: Symptoms and Prevention
Medikoe Wellness Expert
80 feet road indira nagar, Bengaluru Aug 23, 2019
Viral Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. It is contagious and can be transmitted by coughing, sneezing, or close contact. There are several forms of Meningitis, such as cryptococcal (fungal infection) and carcinomatous (cancer-related).
Viral Meningitis Causes
The most common cause of viral Meningitis is non-polio enteroviruses. Other causes may include:
- Chemical irritation
- Drug allergies
Enterovirus category causes 85 per cent of cases, and they are more common during the summer and fall, and they include:
- Coxsackievirus A
- Coxsackievirus B
Other viruses include:
- West Nile Virus
- Coltivirus, it also causes Colorado tick virus
Viral Meningitis Symptoms
- Decrease appetite
- A Fever
- Stiff neck
People with mild viral Meningitis usually get better on their own within 7 to 10 days.
Viral Meningitis Diagnosis
Doctor ask your history and do a physical exam, and they will look for:
- A Fever
- An increased heart rate
- Neck stiffness
- Reduced consciousness
- Spinal tap
- Blood cultures
- Chest X-rays
- CT Scan
Specific lab tests diagnose viral Meningitis on specimens from a suspected person. The doctor may collect a sample for testing by:
- Swabbing your nose or throat
- Obtaining a stool sample
- Taking some blood
- Drawing fluid from around spinal cord
Imaging: CT scan and MRI are performed to diagnose swelling or inflammation of the head.
Spinal tap: It is also called lumbar puncture. In this procedure, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is collected to check the sugar level, white blood cell count, and protein. In people with Meningitis, the CSF often shows low sugar level along with an increased white blood cell count and increased protein.
In the case of viral Meningitis, the doctor may order a Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification to check for antibodies against certain viruses to determine the specific cause and proper treatment.
Viral Meningitis Treatment
Viral Meningitis is resolved on its own, and it does not need any treatment. But, Meningitis caused by certain viruses like herpes virus and influenza will usually need antiviral medicine for treatment.
Viral Meningitis Prevention
There are no vaccines to protect against non-polio enteroviruses. However, you can take the following steps to lower your chance of getting infected with non-polio enteroviruses:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water.
- Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, not your hands.
- Clear and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid bites from mosquitoes and another insect that carry disease that can infect humans.
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