Viral meningitis Primary prevention

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Ahmed Elsaiey, MBBCH [2]


Primary prevention of viral meningitis depends mainly on the self hygiene and some measures that should be considered like: washing hands regularly, avoid touching face, avoid close contact with suspected individuals, and staying home when feeling sick. There are no vaccines against the enteroviruses but other viruses like influenza should be vaccinated to prevent the development of the disease.

Primary prevention

There are no vaccines to protect against enteroviruses, which are the most common cause of viral meningitis. The following precautions are recommended to help lower the chances of getting infected with enteroviruses or spreading them to other people:[1]

  • Washing hands regularly with soap and water, especially after changing diapers, using the toilet, or coughing or blowing nose.
  • Avoid touching face with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact such as kissing, hugging, or sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick.
  • Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or upper shirt sleeve, not by hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if it is touched by someone sick.
  • Staying home when feeling sick.
  • Some vaccinations can protect against diseases such as measles, mumps, chickenpox, and influenza, that can lead to viral meningitis.
  • Avoid bites from mosquitoes and other insects that carry diseases that can infect humans.
  • Control mice and rats if they are found at home.


  1. CDC Accessed on April 23, 2017