Should patients with viral meningitis be isolated?

Should a person with viral meningitis be isolated? Strict isolation is not necessary. Since most cases are due to enteroviruses that may be passed in the stool, people diagnosed with viral meningitis should be instructed to thoroughly wash their hands after using the toilet.

Are you contagious if you have viral meningitis?

Viral meningitis can be contagious from 3 days after infection starts to about 10 days after symptoms develop. Bacterial meningitis is usually less contagious than viral meningitis. It’s generally contagious during the incubation period and an additional 7 to 14 days.

What precautions are needed for viral meningitis?


  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers or using the toilet.
  • Avoid close contact, such as touching and shaking hands, with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

Is viral meningitis self limiting?

In uncomplicated viral meningitis, the clinical course is usually self-limited, with complete recovery in 7-10 days. However, when the viral pathogen causes a more involved meningoencephalitis or meningomyelitis, the course can be significantly more protracted.

What is the mode of transmission of viral meningitis?

Although viral meningitis is typically not very contagious, it can be spread from one person to another. The two most common ways of spread are through direct contact with respiratory secretions, and through the stool (feces) of an infected person.

Does viral meningitis require droplet precautions?

Meningococcal meningitis patients should be placed on droplet precautions (private room, mask for all entering the room) until they have completed 24 hours of appropriate antibiotic therapy. Negative pressure ventilation is not required. Patients with pneumococcal or viral meningitis do not require isolation.

Is meningitis an airborne disease?

Bacterial meningitis is NOT spread through casual contact or the airborne route; however, some bacteria can be spread by close contact with respiratory droplets (e.g., in daycare centers).

What is contact precaution?

Contact Precautions are intended to prevent transmission of infectious agents, including epidemiologically important microorganisms, which are spread by direct or indirect contact with the patient or the patient’s environment as described in I.B. 3.

What PPE do you wear for meningitis?

Wear gloves and protective clothing such as a gown or lab coat, shoes, and a mask (if the spill may contain a respiratory agent or if the agent is unknown).

What is airborne precaution?

Airborne precautions apply to patients known or suspected to be infected with microorganisms transmitted by airborne droplet nuclei. Preventing airborne transmission requires personal respiratory protection and special ventilation and air handling.

What happens if viral meningitis goes untreated?

If left untreated, the infection can cause brain damage or even death. Antibiotics can usually eliminate the bacteria. Still, about 10 to 15 percent of cases result in death even when antibiotics are used. Among people who recover, 11 to 19 percent will experience long-term complications.

How long is recovery from viral meningitis?

Recovery. If you are diagnosed with viral meningitis, you will usually find that symptoms improve within a few days and most recover fully after one to four weeks.

What is the incubation period for viral meningitis?

Symptoms usually occur within one week of exposure to the virus. The symptoms rarely last over 10 days. Recovery is usually complete. Incubation: The incubation period for enteroviruses is usually between 3 and 7 days from the time of infection until the development of symptoms.

Can viral meningitis be diagnosed without a spinal tap?

X-rays or CT scans of the chest or sinuses also may show infection that may be associated with meningitis. Spinal tap (lumbar puncture). For a definitive diagnosis of meningitis, you’ll need a spinal tap to collect cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).

What type of meningitis is worse?

Bacteria or a virus can cause meningitis. Viral meningitis is more common, but bacterial meningitis is more serious. It can lead to brain damage, paralysis, or stroke. In some cases, it can be fatal.

How serious is viral meningitis?

Meningitis caused by viruses is serious but often is less severe than bacterial meningitis. People with normal immune systems who get viral meningitis usually get better on their own. There are vaccines to prevent some kinds of viral meningitis.

Do you need to be hospitalized for viral meningitis?

People with meningitis may need to stay in hospital for a few days, and in certain cases treatment may be needed for several weeks. Even after going home, it may be a while before you feel completely back to normal.

What are the long-term side effects of viral meningitis?

After effects most likely to be caused by meningitis

  • Memory loss/lack of concentration/difficulty retaining information.
  • Clumsiness/co-ordination problems.
  • Headaches.
  • Deafness/hearing problems/tinnitus/dizziness/loss of balance.
  • Epilepsy/seizures.
  • Weakness/paralysis/spasms.
  • Speech problems.
  • Loss of sight/vision problems.

Why do I keep getting viral meningitis?

Viral meningitis is usually mild and often clears on its own. Most cases in the United States are caused by a group of viruses known as enteroviruses, which are most common in late summer and early fall. Viruses such as herpes simplex virus, HIV , mumps virus, West Nile virus and others also can cause viral meningitis.

Can you fully recover from meningitis?

Bacterial meningitis is serious. Some people with the infection die and death can occur in as little as a few hours. However, most people recover from bacterial meningitis. Those who do recover can have permanent disabilities, such as brain damage, hearing loss, and learning disabilities.