Viral meningitis history and symptoms
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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Ahmed Elsaiey, MBBCH 
Viral meningitis symptoms are varied, depending on the causative organism. The symptoms of viral meningitis usually last from 7 to 10 days, and people with normal immune systems usually recover completely. A rash may be present, which could suggest a particular virus - for example, varicella zoster. However, a non-blanching purpuric rash is not associated with meningitis and suggests systemic bacterial infection. The more common symptoms of meningitis are fever, severe headache, stiff neck, bright lights hurting the eyes, drowsiness or confusion, and nausea and vomiting. In babies, the symptoms are more difficult to identify. They may include fever, irritability, difficulty in awakening the baby, or the baby refuses to eat. The symptoms of meningitis may not be the same for every person.
History and symptoms
The more common symptoms of meningitis are fever, severe headache, stiff neck, bright lights hurting the eyes, drowsiness or confusion, and nausea and vomiting. In babies, the symptoms are more difficult to identify. They may include fever, irritability, difficulty in awakening the baby, or the baby refuses to eat. The symptoms of meningitis may not be the same for every person.
Common Symptoms in Infants
- Poor eating
- Sleepy and trouble in walking up from sleeping
Common Symptoms in Adults
- High fever
- Severe headache
- Stiff neck
- Sensitivity to bright light
- Lack of appetite
Pathogen specific symptoms
- Enteroviral meningitis presents with the general symptoms of the viral meningitis for both adults and children which are the fever, anorexia, headache, myalgia and respiratory tract infections.
- In infants there may be no evident signs of meningitis. However, in severe illness, seizures are noticed.
- Development of ulcers in the mouth, hand and foot is one of the specific symptoms of the enteroviruses.. Conjunctivitis and pharyngitis can also be considered symptoms of enteroviral meningitis.
- Herpes viruses:
- Viral meningitis caused by the herpes viruses has the general symptoms of the disease but it can only be presented with just fever.
- Skin rash can be seen in case of infection with varicella zoster virus.
- Genitourinary lesions like the ulcers may be noticed in case of herpes simplex type 2 infection.
- They mostly cause encephalitis which has similar symptoms to the viral meningitis.
- Infection of the central nervous by parechoviruses causes meningitis and encephalitis.
- In severe cases, parechoviruses may lead to neonatal sepsis as well as paralysis.
- There is no specific neuronal symptoms for the parechoviruses. Irritability and fever are common symptoms for the parechoviral meningitis.
- Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus:
- Patients infected with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus usually develop encephalitis, but there is a small chance to develop viral meningitis.
- A little percentage of the patients with lymphocytic choriomeningitis viral meningitis who present with neuronal symptoms and may be asymptomatic.
- ↑ Wilfert CM, Lehrman SN, Katz SL (1983). "Enteroviruses and meningitis". Pediatr Infect Dis. 2 (4): 333–41. PMID 6310537.
- ↑ Chang LY, Huang LM, Gau SS, Wu YY, Hsia SH, Fan TY; et al. (2007). "Neurodevelopment and cognition in children after enterovirus 71 infection". N Engl J Med. 356 (12): 1226–34. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa065954. PMID 17377160.
- ↑ Selvarangan R, Nzabi M, Selvaraju SB, Ketter P, Carpenter C, Harrison CJ (2011). "Human parechovirus 3 causing sepsis-like illness in children from midwestern United States". Pediatr Infect Dis J. 30 (3): 238–42. doi:10.1097/INF.0b013e3181fbefc8. PMID 20948454.
- ↑ Rotbart HA (2000). "Viral meningitis". Semin Neurol. 20 (3): 277–92. doi:10.1055/s-2000-9427. PMID 11051293.