Viral meningitis is known to spread due to exposure to feces or respiratory secretions. Symptoms of viral meningitis resemble those of any regular viral flu, making it a little hard to detect. Viral meningitis occurs all over the world. In spite of being rare, viral meningitis is mild and completely curable. Mostly, the viral infection clears up without causing meningitis. In other words, even if a person develops viral meningitis, the disease clears up on its own.

Viral Meningitis Transmission Facts

As the causes behind viral meningitis are many, the spread of the infection depends on the type of virus involved. Among them, enterovirus being the commonest cause spreads through fecal contamination or else through respiratory secretions like saliva, sputum, mucus, etc. Mumps and varicella zoster viruses spread through contact via infected saliva or sputum.

If you come in contact with an infected person, the virus will make an entry into your body but there is less chance that you'll develop the infection. At the same time, you might get infected with the virus, but the possibility of developing viral meningitis is minimal. Other viruses spread through mosquitoes, but the occurrence of infection is a rarity. The incubation period of the virus (enterovirus) lasts from three to seven days. Beginning three days (until 10 days) after a person gets infected, the virus can be spread to another person. This infection is self-limiting in nature due to which, the
virus remains no longer contagious beyond a period of 10 days
. Children with mumps and herpes virus are more prone to contracting the virus and the disease. People above the age of 40 are said to be immune to viral meningitis.

Causal Factors
  • Mumps
  • Enterovirus
  • Herpes simplex virus (type 1 or 2)
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus
  • Varicella zoster (causing chickenpox)
  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus
  • Poliovirus
  • Coxsackie A virus
  • St. Louis Encephalitis virus
  • Arboviruses (through mosquitoes)

In Adults
  • High fever and headache
  • Neck Stiffness
  • Lack of appetite
  • Sleepiness
  • Light sensitivity
In Infants
  • High Fever
  • Irritable feeling
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty waking up
  • Rashes (rare)
Other Symptoms
  • Physical discomfort
  • Joint ache
  • Drowsiness
  • Confused state of mind
Occurrence of Symptoms

On exposure to the virus, the symptoms can be seen in the period of 3-7 days. The symptoms last for about 10 days, after which chances of passing on the infection become less, as the infected person is in the self-recovery stage or must have recovered totally. Children are affected by a great deal with this viral infection. The cases of infection are on the high during summer and early autumn.

Preventive Measures to be Taken
  • Washing your hands regularly and having hygienic toilet etiquette can protect you from this virus to a major extent.
  • Being a mosquito-borne disease, staying away from mosquito bites can also work wonders to avoid this disease.
  • Ensure children are vaccinated, as they are prone to the viral infection easily.
  • Exercise control over mice/rodent infestation.
  • Avoid sharing utensils and other such items with an infected person (same applies if you are infected).
Meningitis is a disease that causes brain damage that may lead to death, making it one of the most dangerous diseases in the world. However, care and precaution can help to not only save yourself from the disease, but also save others around you. Prevention is better than cure and the right prevention can cure the world of this disease.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.