FAQ - Meningitis, Viral
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i have a friend who has viral meningitis, what are my chances of getting it?

We are in college and my friend just got diagnosed with viral meningitis. we hang out often. i was wondering what my chances were of getting the virus. i have been told that its not that easy to catch. im just worried.

How is the virus spread?

Enteroviruses, the most common cause of viral meningitis, are most often spread through direct contact with respiratory secretions (e.g., saliva, sputum, or nasal mucus) of an infected person. This usually happens by shaking hands with an infected person or touching something they have handled, and then rubbing your own nose or mouth. The virus can also be found in the stool of persons who are infected. The virus is spread through this route mainly among small children who are not yet toilet trained. It can also be spread this way to adults changing the diapers of an infected infant. The incubation period for enteroviruses is usually between 3 and 7 days from the time you are infected until you develop symptoms. You can usually spread the virus to someone else beginning about 3 days after you are infected until about 10 days after you develop symptoms.

Can I get viral meningitis if I’m around someone who has it?

The viruses that cause viral meningitis are contagious. Enteroviruses, for example, are very common during the summer and early fall, and many people are exposed to them. However, most infected persons either have no symptoms or develop only a cold or rash with low-grade fever. Only a small proportion of infected persons actually develop meningitis. Therefore, if you are around someone who has viral meningitis, you have a moderate chance of becoming infected, but a very small chance of developing meningitis.

How can I reduce my chances of becoming infected?

Because most persons who are infected with enteroviruses do not become sick, it can be difficult to prevent the spread of the virus. However, adhering to good personal hygiene can help to reduce your chances of becoming infected. If you are in contact with someone who has viral meningitis, the most effective method of prevention is to wash your hands thoroughly and often (see "Handwashing" in: An Ounce of Prevention: Keeps the Germs Away). Also, cleaning contaminated surfaces and soiled articles first with soap and water, and then disinfecting them with a dilute solution of chlorine-containing bleach (made by mixing approximately ¼ cup of bleach with 1 gallon of water) can be a very effective way to inactivate the virus, especially in institutional settings such as child care centers. (See more about cleaning and disinfecting in general in CDC's Prevention Resources).  (+ info)

Is the viral or bacterial disease, Meningitis, transmitted sexually?

I've seen in commercials that adolescents should ask a doctor for ways to prevent Meningitis...but i want to know ways it can spread and how can you prevent it, if there are ways to prevent it.

sharing foods and drinks, sharing eating utensils, kissing, sharing smokes, etc.

There are a few vaccinations available for different types of meningitis.  (+ info)

Catching viral meningitis a second time?

My mom had viral meningitis a few years ago and got better, with no long term effects. She told me the other day that her doctor told her that if she ever caught it again, she'd die. Is this true? How could you die from viral meningitis?

it is very easy to die from viral meningitis because it has a tendency to attack brain cells that are close to the spinal cord. i don't think that any person is, however her doctor cannot by any means make a prognosis of her dying from it, 100% because the virus, if it doesn't leave any permanent damage, as you stated, is not more deadly than the first time an individual contracted the disease. your mother can get this infection again and easily recover. she really needs to get a second opinion from another doctor. i don't know if her immune system was possibly compromised, if it was then she may die from it, but even at that no doctor can make a 100% diagnosis unless they have sufficient data to back up their biological reasoning within another person's.  (+ info)

How does a person get or catch viral meningitis?

I read the basics online, but all it says is what causes it. I have a good handle on that, but I am still wondering how someone would get this in the first place? Especially a child in school when no one else seems to have it.

Hey i had it 5 weeks ago! still not back to my normal self. I got it form a throat infection that wasnt treated properly. Most viral meningitis comes from another virus already in the body such as a cold or flu or a sore throat that infects the menings of the spine and brain. Other people may catch the same virus that caused the meningitis but they only may catch the flu... This is what they explained to me in hospital. My fiance got a throat infection from me but it didnt infest into the mengings of the spine and brain... it only did that to me. So the child may have had some cold or flu type thing that decided to go into the mengings.  (+ info)

Does anybody know why bacterial meningitis is considered contagious and viral meningitis is not?

I understand that some of the viruses that can cause meningitis are very common and very contagious, but they don't usually get access to the spinal cord or meninges unless there is immunosuppression or trauma. Are the bacteria more likely to get in, those places, or do we consider them contagious just because they do more damage?

  (+ info)

What is the difference between bacterial and viral meningitis?

Meningitis is an illness in which there is inflammation of the tissues that cover the brain and spinal cord. Viral or "aseptic" meningitis, which is the most common type, is caused by an infection with one of several types of viruses. It often remains undiagnosed because its symptoms can be similar to those of the common flu. Bacterial meningitis is rare, but is usually serious and can be life-threatening if it is not treated right away. It is most commonly caused by one of three types of bacteria: Haemophilus influenzae type b, Neisseria meningitidis, and Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria. The bacteria are spread by direct close contact with the discharges from the nose or throat of an infected person. Bacterial meningitis can be treated with antibiotics. Prevention depends on use of vaccines, rapid diagnosis, and prompt treatment of close personal contacts. Meningitis can also be caused by infections with several types of bacteria or fungi. There are up to 4,000 people hospitalised in the UK due to viral meningitis each year.
I add a link with details of this subject

http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk /

Hope this helps
matador 89  (+ info)

A co-worker of mine was recently hospitalized for VIRAL Meningitis?

When she came back to work after two weeks she told everyone they treated her with antibiotics. Does she really expect everyone to believe that Dr's gave her antibiotics for a viral sickness?? Do Dr's normally treat Viral Meningitis with antibiotics?

yes agree with her  (+ info)

Meningitis, what is the medical term for Viral Meningitis?

I have heard of meningococcal and Septicaemia but i was wondering what is the medical term for meningitis caused by a virus? one of the above or something different?

Viral meningitis is viral meningitis. There are a plethora of viruses and unless the virus is isolated, it cannot be further identified. It can be lumped under the term Aseptic Meningitis which covers all those meningitic infections not bacterial in nature. It is NOT meningococci, which is a bacterial meningitis.  (+ info)

Can exposure to someone with viral meningitis be harmful during pregnancy?

Are you at extra risk if you are pregnant as i have heard that it can be contageous? Anyone know anything about this would be really helpful, thanks xx

Yes it can be very harmful i would be staying away from the person who has it. Even though Viral meningitis is no where near as harmful as Bacterial meningitis like Meningococcal or Pneumococcal it can still cause life threatening complications to you and your baby.
My advice is to contact your dr if you feel you could be coming down with something and if your not feeling ill in anyway then don't worry.
Viral meningitis is not responsive to antibiotics even if you have/do catch it as there is no treatment. so the best thing for you to do is stay away from anyone who has it to lessen the chances of you catching it.
Good luck with your pregnancy.  (+ info)

Does the CDC require healthcare workers to report viral meningitis case to health department?

I need to know for a health science project.

directly from the health department web site, this is what has to be reported on that

Meningitis (all types--not limited to invasive Haemophilus influenzae or Neisseria meningitidis)  (+ info)

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