Welcome to Viral Spinal Meningitis Health Guide
A good time to be on the lookout for medical symptoms of spinal meningitis (especially involving your young kids) is today so keep in mind the spinal meningitis risk factors and spinal meningitis signs & symptoms. Especially watch-out for bacterial meningitis, which is a significant medical condition and can turn-out to be be a medical emergency vs less severe viral-meningitis.
The disease known as "Viral Spinal Meningitis" is a serious and possibly a life threatening disease (especially involving more serious bacterial spinal meningitis) resulting from an inflammation and swelling of the protective membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord, known as meninges. Spinal meningitis appears to be getting more and more frequently diagnosed by doctors in patients with certain symptoms as time goes by.
The inflammation is usually caused by an infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Spinal Meningitis is also referred to as "Viral Spinal Meningitis", or the bacterial version of spinal meningitis, which is called "Bacterial Spinal Meningitis".
Spinal Meningitis may develop in response to a number of causes, most of the time it's bacteria or viruses (viral), but spinal-meningitis can also be caused by physical injury, cancer or certain drugs.
The severity of illness and the treatment for spinal meningitis varies depending on its cause. Thus, it is important to know the specific cause of meningitis. For example, bacterial meningitis is usually more severe than viral, fungal, or parasitic meningitis. Although it can be very serious, bacterial meningitis can be treated with antibiotics that can prevent severe illness and reduce the spread of meningitis disease infection from person to person.
Spinal Meningitis disease onset is characterized by a sudden onset of fever, headache, and a stiff neck. It's often accompanied by other symptoms, such as:
- Photophobia (light-sensitivity)
- Changed mood or mental status
Risk Factors of Viral Spinal Meningitis
The most effective way to protect you and your child against certain types of meningitis is to complete the childhood vaccine schedule. The risk of meningitis increases by not following the recommended vaccine schedule. Other factors which may increase your risk of spinal meningitis include these factors:
- Viral meningitis occurs mostly in children younger than age 5.
- Before the availability of effective vaccines, bacterial spinal meningitis was commonly diagnosed in young children. Now, as a result of the protection offered by recent children's vaccines, bacterial meningitis is more commonly diagnosed among pre-teens and young adults.
- Community setting.
- Infectious diseases tend to spread quickly wherever larger groups of people gather together. As a result, college students living in dormitories, military personnel and children in childcare facilities are at an increased risk.
- Pregnant women are at an increased risk of catching listeriosis. The bacteria that cause listeriosis, listeria bacteria, can also cause meningitis. The unborn baby of a pregnant woman with listeriosis is also at risk.
- Working with animals.
- Dairy farmers, ranchers, and other people who work with domestic animals are at an increased risk of contracting listeriosis. The bacteria that cause listeriosis, listeria bacteria, can also cause meningitis.
- Weakened immune system.
- There are certain diseases, medications and surgical procedures that may weaken the immune system and increase risk of meningitis.
Diagnosis of Viral Spinal Meningitis
The specific causes of meningitis may be determined by tests used to identify the virus in samples collected from the patient.
Viral meningitis is generally less severe and resolves without specific treatment.
Most viral meningitis cases in the United States, especially during the summer months, are caused by enteroviruses; however, only a small number of people with enterovirus infections actually develop meningitis.
Other viral infections that can lead to meningitis include
- Herpes virus, including Epstein-Barr virus, herpes simplex viruses, varicella-zoster virus (which also causes chicken pox and shingles), measles, and influenza
- Viruses spread through mosquitoes and other insects (arboviruses)
- In rare cases LCMV (lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus), which is spread by rodents, can cause viral meningitis
Health Websites of Interest