Viral meningitis is a form of meningitis that is generally caused by a viral infection. Meningitis is considered to be inflammation of the membranes which cover the brain and spinal cord to protect them. The inflammation is caused by infections that maybe due to bacteria, viruses, microorganisms, and certain types of drugs. It can be life threatening if the individual is not able to get proper treatment or if they do not receive treatment in time in order to reverse the effects of the condition and fight off the infection itself. Since the inflammation is very close to the brain and the spinal cord, it can cause very serious permanent damage. As a result, meningitis is considered to be a medical emergency in most cases.
The common symptoms that are associated with meningitis are considered to be a stiffness in the neck, headache, fever, confusion, different consciousness, inability to deal with loud noises, inability to deal with light, and vomiting. Children are known to have other symptoms, such as drowsiness, irritability, and rashes. This can be difficult because these are symptoms which are less specific to meningitis itself.
Doctors may use a lumbar puncture to help diagnose whether or not an individual has meningitis. This requires that a needle would be inserted in the spinal canal in order to get a sample of fluid which is known for enveloping the spinal cord and the brain. The fluid is examined by a laboratory which excludes or determines if the individual has meningitis. Those who have acute meningitis will be given antibiotics and antiviral drugs. Sometimes the doctor may suggest that the individual who is affected should receive treatment at a hospital to ensure that they receive proper monitoring of their condition since the infection can be life threatening. If meningitis is not treated correctly, it can lead to many life-long consequences and effects. These can include epilepsy, deafness, hydrocephalus, cognitive deficits, and many other negative consequences. However, it is possible that some types of meningitis can be prevented if individuals are willing to be vaccinated.
Viral and bacterial meningitis can be prevented because they are essential contagious. Neither of these conditions are considered to be as contagious as the common cold or the flu, which proves that it is possible to prevent other people from gaining infection based on contact. These are conditions which can be transmitted between people from kissing, coughing, sneezing, and other forms of contact where respiratory secretions would be likely. As a result, proper hygiene is important when trying to prevent meningitis.