Virus Meningitis (Viral Meningitis)

Virus Meningitis
Body Parts: Head
Medical Subjects: Children's Health Brain Infectious Disease

What Is Viral Meningitis?

Viral meningitis is a diffuse inflammation of the pia mater caused by viral infection and can be caused by a variety of viruses, such as enterovirus, herpes simplex virus-2, varicella zoster virus, etc.

The main clinical manifestations are fever, headache, vomiting and neck stiffness. The diagnosis can be assisted by lumbar puncture.

Except for meningitis caused by herpes simplex virus, which can be treated with acyclovir, there is generally no specific antiviral treatment for other viral meningitis, but it can usually heal itself within 1 ~ 2 weeks.

Vaccination on time, frequent hand washing and attention to personal hygiene can prevent the occurrence of viral meningitis.

Besides viral meningitis, what other common meningitis are there?

According to the pathogen, there are bacterial meningitis, tuberculous meningitis, cryptococcal meningitis and other types. Viral meningitis is the most common type of meningitis.


What Are The Common Causes Of Viral Meningitis?

  • Enterovirus: is the most common pathogen. Meningitis caused by enterovirus usually breaks out in summer and early autumn. Patients have mild symptoms and basically do not need to be hospitalized. Enteroviruses dominated by Coxsackie virus and echovirus.
  • Herpes virus: HSV-1, HSV-2 and VZV are the three main viruses. These viruses mainly cause mucosal and skin surface infections.
  • Mumps and Measles: Viral meningitis, a common complication of mumps, is transmitted by contact with the saliva or mucus of the infected person. Measles viruses rarely cause meningitis.
  • HIV and others: HIV can develop viral meningitis during seroconversion.

What kind of population is viral meningitis prone to?

Viral meningitis occurs mostly in children under the age of 5 years and in populations with decreased immunity such as those taking immunosuppressive agents.

Under what circumstances does viral meningitis easily occur?

The fecal-oral route is an important route of transmission of enterovirus, and it is commonly found in children with poor hand hygiene.


What Are The Symptoms Of Viral Meningitis?

  • Usually, there are some precursor symptoms before the onset of this kind of disease, including fever, headache, runny nose and feeling tired. There will also be some symptoms of respiratory tract infection, such as vomiting and diarrhea. Some patients may show skin and mucous membrane herpes, joint pain and conjunctival inflammation. After the onset, some patients may have consciousness disorder, such as sudden excitement and anxiety, accompanied by hallucination.
  • Viral meningitis is usually acute, so when parents take their children to the hospital for treatment, the disease has developed to a serious degree. Viral meningitis can cause the intracranial pressure of patients to rise continuously, which will make patients feel headache and vomit continuously. Blood pressure maybe increased rapidly, showing bradycardia. Some babies show symptoms such as bulging bregma after illness. Must be treated immediately. In addition, enterovirus 71 meningitis can also cause hand-foot-mouth syndrome.
  • Patients with viral meningitis are photophobic, and will avoid the light source. Children will bury their heads in quilts, and they will also have symptoms of listlessness and chills. Patients with meningitis caused by herpes will have a rash, Especially in the face, limbs appear more often, and this kind of herpes is difficult to subside. If the patient is not treated for a long time, the disease will cause some damage to the skin.

What are the consequences of viral meningitis?

It can lead to myocarditis, coma and sensory disturbances when the nervous system is damaged. It can also cause epilepsy, vision and hearing disorders, limb paralysis and different degrees of sequelae of mental retardation.


What Check Does Viral Meningitis Need To Do?

  • Lumbar puncture and cerebrospinal fluid analysis
  • Physical
  • Blood examination
  • Virology check
  • Cranial CT or MRI

What disease is viral meningitis easily confused with?

  • Differentiation from japanese encephalitis in summer and autumn.
  • Different from herpes simplex encephalitis.
  • Cerebral malaria.
  • Reye syndrome.

How To Prevent Viral Meningitis

  • Keep the indoor air unblocked, often open windows for ventilation, and expose bedding to the sun to kill bacteria.
  • Try not to let children go to crowded public places, enhance children's health awareness, and avoid increasing the chance of infection. If children have unexplained high fever, bleeding, headache, vomiting and convulsions, they should go to the hospital for treatment in time.
  • If your family suffers from meningitis, you should try to avoid excessive exposure. At the same time, send the patient to hospital for treatment as soon as possible.

How To Treat Viral Meningitis?

Acyclovir may be administered if the cause is herpes simplex virus infection. For most other common meningitis-causing viruses, no specific drug is available. However, if the patient's immune system is normal, they can almost recover on their own.

In addition to etiological treatment, symptomatic treatment is also needed. For example, oral acetaminophen or the use of suppositories (inserted into the rectum) can reduce fever. Use analgesics as needed to control headaches.

Do I need to continue taking this medication after my viral meningitis improves?

Most viral meningitis can automatically improve, and completely recover, leaving no sequelae, generally do not need long-term medication.

What does viral meningitis need to notice during hospitalization?

  • Assist doctors in examination and treatment.
  • In accordance with the doctor's instructions to drink more water, a light diet, enhance nutrition, more vitamin supplements.
  • Keep the ward environment ventilated.
  • At the same time, it is necessary to keep a good attitude during treatment and keep warm, so as not to catch a cold.

Do you need a follow-up visit after you are discharged from hospital with viral meningitis? How?

Reexamination is needed. The time of reexamination depends on the patient's condition. It is recommended to conduct reexamination once every 1–2 weeks. The reexamination items include: blood test and virology test, and the main focus is on whether there is infection in blood.

Is there any sequelae after treatment of viral meningitis?

Viral meningitis can generally be completely restored to normal without leaving sequelae, and some patients will have memory, cognition, and sleep disorders, or fatigue and depression during the recovery period, but they are generally temporary. Patients younger than 1 year of age may present with minor neurodevelopmental disorders such as language problems.

Herpes simplex virus meningitis may cause long-term sequelae in immunocompromised patients. Timely treatment with acyclovir and valacyclovir may help prevent sequelae.


What Should Patients With Viral Meningitis Pay Attention To In Their Lives?

  • Strictly follow the doctor's instruction, take the medicine on time and according to the quantity, and don't stop taking the medicine without authorization.
  • Regular follow-up, monitoring of the condition and drug side effects.
  • Patients need to learn the knowledge of viral meningitis, judge in time when the disease worsens, and see a doctor immediately.

What should we pay attention to in diet?

Patients with viral meningitis should eat digestible and nutritious food while they are sick, and avoid greasy and hard food.

Can patients with viral meningitis exercise?

Exercise moderately and keep a proper rest at the same time.

How to take care of patients with viral meningitis?

  • Urge patients to take drugs regularly and have reexamination regularly.
  • Keep the environment clean and comfortable that the patient stay.
  • You can't play with your mobile phone or surf the Internet for a long time, which affects your normal rest. Keep warm.
  • Don't catch cold, and don't eat cold food.
  • Never do strenuous exercise. Be happy every day and keep an optimistic attitude.

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