- Effective Desk Exercises You Can Try Out At OfficePosted 743 days ago
- Drinking Diet Cola Is Harmful For HealthPosted 743 days ago
- Nine Easy Tips That You Must Take To Take Care Of Your Pearl JewelryPosted 744 days ago
- ‘Hair Updos’ You Can Sport For A Fun Day At The BeachPosted 748 days ago
- Easy And Effective Tips To Do A ‘Pedicure’ YourselfPosted 748 days ago
- Useful Tips To Treat ‘Hyperactivity’ In ChildrenPosted 748 days ago
- Do And Don’ts For Healthy PregnancyPosted 748 days ago
What is Viral Meningitis?
Viral Meningitis is an infectious disease, also known as aseptic meningitis, caused by some viral attack that affect fluid running in the surroundings of the spinal cord and the brain. Basically, it causes tenderness in the membranes occupying blood vessels. The membranes are known as meninges or leptomeninges, on which the naming of the infection is done. Either bacteria or virus or both is the main source for causing this infection. And, severity of the infection remains on the basis of microbe affecting it. It is found that bacterial infection is much more severe than viral one. Hence, it is required to search out for the reason first before starting the treatment.
The affects of the disease can be mild or can be life-threatening, resulting in brain problem or death of the patient. Meningoencephalitis or Meningomyelitis are the main viruses behind the disease or the infection. Nonpolio enteroviruses are the found be the main cause behind the disease, affecting almost 85% of the total cases. The disease is commonly seen in developing, whereas developed countries had practiced various approaches to obstruct its entry.
It is an infectious or causative disease spread through the infected feces, sneezing or coughing by the infected person. Small children are the main catch of the disease because their immune system is not so strong to fight against these viral pathogens. The infection is mainly found in summer and spread more in the location where running water supply is very low.
Symptoms of Viral Meningitis
Some very general symptoms in all the cases include rise in the body temperature, nuchal rigidity, and change in mental status. Although, some symptoms differ in different cases categorized according to the age of the patient and severity level of the disease.
1. Almost every case, except babies, experience mild or heavy headache.
2. The presence of the disease in the babies is detected by their low appetite, increased sleepiness, and extreme fussiness. Soft spot or bulging fontanelle in babies indicates rise in intracranial pressure. Absence of nuchal rigidity is found in mostly every case of babies.
3. In some case formation of rashes is seen in the hands and the legs. Rashes are red in color and are generally found flat in the skin surface. Whereas, rashes in the case of meningococcal meningitis are small in size and cover almost whole body by forming striking red spots.
4. Sore throat and redness in the eyes, indication of conjunctivitis, is seen in the case of enterovirus meningitis.
5. Chances of presence of phonophobia as well as photophobia are rare but still there.
6. Muscle weakness, feeling tiredness, and behavioral change are among some other symptoms making recovering from the disease very late.
7. Presence of adenovirus is detected through weak immune system and pneumonia occurring in the body.
8. Indication of mumps is seen along with parotitis and orchitis.
9. Stiffness in the neck can create discomfort to the patient.
Causes of Viral Meningitis
As said earlier, viral meningitis is mainly caused due to the attack of the enterovirus that enters in the body through fecal-oral route and grows in the intestine of the patient. Echoviruses, coxsackieviruses A and B, and polioviruses from its family, Picornaviridae, also cause meningitis with different symptoms and location. Enterovirus is ubiquitous in warmer season resulting in more cases of this infectious disease in the summer and early autumn. Entervirus accounts for complications like rash, percicarditis, meningoencephlitis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, and polio.
Coxsackievirus causes disease in infants who less than 3 months in age and is very critical to the fetus, who got infected through their mother.
Arboviruses cause for arthropod-borne disease that are transmitted through blood-sucking arthropods. They cause for meningoencephalitis rather than pure meningitis. St. Louis encephalitis, part this virus, is the main reason behind the arboviral meningitis. It generally infects young children with the above mentioned neurological complication.
Mumps virus is the initiator of meningitis, affecting male population three times more than women population. People of age group 16-21, mainly studying in schools or college, are the main target of this virus. Mumps is a member of the Paramyxovirus family and it is one of the first known causative agents of meningitis and meningoencephalitis.
Adenovirus, the cause for fatal disease like AIDS and infects immunocompetent people mainly.
Arenavirus like Lymphocytic choriomeningitis is one of the rare causes behind meningitis. The infection is spread by mouse or rat or by their excreta or waste produced by them. It mainly affects the employees working in science laboratories, people who own pets, and those who live in very unhygienic location.
Measles or morbillivirus is one of the dangerous health threat world is facing. It mainly attacks school and college going students and causes maculopapular rashes on their body.
Diagnosis of Viral Meningitis
Medical history of the patient is examined first, before going for any conclusion. Physical examination is done in the initial stage of the diagnosis. Analysis of the rashes formed in the skin surface including there color, formation or frequency is done. Presence of viral meningitis is indicated after incubation period of one week. It is better to aware of changes in your body to prevent complication like this.
Presence of pain and erection in the neck is detected to confirm the disease. To avoid confusion with other disease blood tests and urine tests are done.
If the results obtained indicate the presence of meningitis, then a series of treatment is started on the patient. Further if confusion persists, then a specific test using spinal tab is done. In this test, spinal fluid is collected by inserting small needle around the spinal cord region. The fluid collected is further taken for microscopic analysis of cell for detection of the viral infection.
Treatment of Viral Meningitis
Bad news about the disease is that there is no treatment to cure it as antibiotics are not suitable for killing virus in the body. One needs to have strong immune system that is able to kill virus through antibodies present in it.
Viral meningitis occurring in small babies or infants requires to be admitted them in the hospitals for the treatment and regular checkup. Medication like acetaminophen is some time given to control the temperature rising in the patient. Treatment for bacterial meningitis is given in the hospitals, whereas viral meningitis does not require patient to be put in the hospital.
Diet change is recommended to avoid complication like pneumonia. Diet given include large portion of liquid and bland meal that are easily digestible by the patient.
Home remedies like putting neem leaves around baby is done to prevent further spread of viral infection and for the rapid recovery from the disease. However, it is advised to keep baby in separate room, which should be dark, meaning less amount of sunlight is coming in it. The place needs to be very hygienic, quiet, and away from things that create irritation to the child.
Severe cases of meningitis can lead to brain damage and death of the patient. Special scanning like MRI or CT is done to check out for complication in the brain. On the basis of results treatment is suggested by the doctor.
It is an infectious disease, so it is recommended to take small children away from the patient.
Prevention from Viral Meningitis
1. It is an infectious disease attacking small babies and young children mainly, who do no have strong immune system. So it is recommended to keep the surroundings of small babies clean and hygienic. Before and after diaper changing in babies, it is required for a person to clean his or her hands very well to prevent spreading of viral infection in them.
2. Adults too are required to wash their hand after going to toilets, because virus responsible for viral meningitis lives in the excreta of human. Wash hands before giving food to your baby and eating food.
3. Keep your house protected from mosquitoes spreading viral infection from person to person by biting them. If their mosquitoes in your surroundings, then try to cover yourself by wearing clothes like full sleeves shirts, tops, and full pants and jeans.
4. Spray pesticides in location where strength of mosquitoes is more. Apply creams that prevent your body from the contact and bites of mosquitoes.
5. Avoid mosquito bites – People should try to stay inside between dusk and dark. This is the time when almost all types of mosquitoes are most active. Also, try to wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts when one is outside between dusk and dark.