Often asked: How long can viral meningitis last?

Treatment. In most cases, there is no specific treatment for viral meningitis. Most people who get mild viral meningitis usually recover completely in 7 to 10 days without treatment.

How long does it take for meningitis to kill you?

  • Meningococcal disease most often causes meningitis and blood infections. It may start like a bad cold or the flu causing fever, headache, body aches, and a stiff neck, but it can progress very quickly and kill an otherwise healthy person in less than 48 hours.

Can viral meningitis last for weeks?

Chronic meningitis develops slowly, over weeks or longer, and may last for months to years. Rarely, chronic meningitis causes only mild symptoms and resolves on its own.

Are there long term effects of viral meningitis?

Viral meningitis can make you very sick, but it often doesn’t leave lingering effects. Bacterial meningitis is more serious. It progresses rapidly and can cause permanent damage or even become life-threatening. Quick diagnosis and treatment can help prevent some of the potential longterm side effects.

What happens if viral meningitis goes untreated?

If people appear very ill, doctors start treatment right away without waiting for test results to identify the cause. These people are given antibiotics until doctors are sure that they do not have bacterial meningitis, which, if untreated, can rapidly cause permanent brain or nerve damage or death.

Is viral meningitis serious?

Viral meningitis is an infection of the membranes (linings) that cover the brain and spinal cord. A variety of viruses can cause meningitis, including those that cause gastroenteritis, measles, mumps, chicken pox and herpes. Viral meningitis is rarely serious, although symptoms may be severe.

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Can viral meningitis damage brain?

Initial symptoms of viral meningitis are similar to those for bacterial meningitis. However, bacterial meningitis is usually severe and can cause serious complications, such as brain damage, hearing loss, or learning disabilities.

Can I get viral meningitis again?

It is very unusual for anyone to have meningitis more than once, but it is possible. Most people some develop immunity to the organism that has caused their disease. However, there are several different causes of meningitis and therefore it is possible, but rare, to have the disease more than once.

Does viral meningitis weaken your immune system?

Without that receptor, the body would struggle to detect and fight other infections later on. These studies show that meningitis can permanently affect the body’s immune system. We now know that even beyond immediate life-threatening problems, meningitis can cause other issues down the road.

Can viral meningitis affect eyesight?

Vision loss or blindness

The optic nerve, which plays an essential role in vision, can occasionally be damaged after a meningitis infection. This can cause temporary or permanent blurry vision or even blindness. During the acute stage of illness, a person may also experience double vision.

How long can you have meningitis without knowing?

Symptoms of bacterial meningitis can appear quickly or over several days. Typically they develop within 3 to 7 days after exposure. Later symptoms of bacterial meningitis can be very serious (e.g., seizures, coma). For this reason, anyone who thinks they may have meningitis should see a doctor as soon as possible.

Does viral meningitis require hospitalization?

Viral meningitis is usually less severe than bacterial meningitis, though all suspected cases of meningitis should be assessed by a doctor. There are thought to be around 75,000 cases of viral meningitis in the United States each year, up to 50,000 of which require hospitalization.

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How do you check for viral meningitis?

Spinal tap (lumbar puncture).

For a definitive diagnosis of meningitis, you’ll need a spinal tap to collect cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). In people with meningitis, the CSF often shows a low sugar (glucose) level along with an increased white blood cell count and increased protein.

Can stress cause viral meningitis?

The type will vary depending on the bacteria causing the infection. The while cell count (involved in fighting infection) may be raised in a recent bacterial infection but low in a recent viral infection. All other symptoms can easily be caused by stress or a common bacterial/viral infection.

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