Viral meningitis is common, rarely fatal condition usually caused by certain viruses. Meningitis means inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord.
Causes of viral meningitis
Most cases of viral meningitis in the United States, especially during the summer months, are caused by enterovirus. However, only a small number of people with enterovirus infections actually develop meningitis.
Other viral infections that cause meningitis include:
- Herpes viruses, including Epstein-Barr virus, herpes simplex virus, varicella-zoster virus (which also causes chickenpox and shingles).
- Influenza virus (influenza or flu).
- In rare virus, lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, which is transmitted by rodents cases, it can cause viral meningitis
Who acquires the viral meningitis
Anyone can get viral meningitis. The disease is most common in children and youth.
Transmission of viral meningitis
Because several different viruses can cause viral meningitis, how the virus depends on the type of virus involved spreads. The most common viruses enter through the mouth, multiply in the body and are excreted in the stool. Unwashed hands can then carry the virus and pass it to another person (called the fecal-oral transmission).
How long can a person transmitted disease?
Viruses that commonly cause viral meningitis can be transmitted by weeks after infection.