Course is typically self-limited with no serious sequelae.
Infants, immunocompromised patients, and those infected with herpes viruses or arboviruses are more likely to have complications.
It is important to distinguish viral meningitis from bacterial meningitis, which is associated with significant morbidity and mortality and requires urgent treatment.
Early diagnosis of viral meningitis may allow antibiotics to be stopped and patients to be discharged from the hospital.
Viral meningitis is inflammation of the meninges caused by a variety of different viruses and is the most common cause of aseptic meningitis.
History and exam
John Williams, MRCP, DTM&H
The James Cook University Hospital
JW declares that he has no competing interests.
Dr John Williams would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr David Chadwick, a previous contributor to this monograph. DC is an author of a reference cited in this monograph.
Karen Roos, MD
John and Nancy Nelson Professor of Neurology
Indiana University School of Medicine
KR declares that she has no competing interests.
Vassiliki Syriopoulou, MD
Professor of Pediatrics
University of Athens
Aghia Sophia Children's Hospital
VS declares that she has no competing interests.
A guide to utilization of the microbiology laboratory for diagnosis of infectious diseases: 2018 update by the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the American Society for Microbiology external link opens in a new windowMore guidelines
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