Pathophysiology: Meningitis is an inflammation of the tissue lining that covers the brain and spinal cord. The pathogenesis of each family of viruses that causes viral meningitis varies. It is uncommon complication of common systemic infections. In children some studies shows learning disabilities, neuromuscular impairments (ie, mild paresis or loss of coordination), and deafness to viral meningitis. Communicating hydrocephalus is a rare complication of viral meningitis.
Disease Statistics: Non-polio enteroviruses are the most common cause of aseptic meningitis. From May to September 2000, a major outbreak of aseptic meningitis occurred in Belgium. Viral meningitis is very common in young children.
Treatment: For most of the cases, there is no specific treatment for viral meningitis. Mostly people completely recover on their own within 7 to 10 days. However disease from certain viruses such as herpesvirus and influenza requires treatment with an antiviral medication. Antibiotics are useful only in cases of bacterial meningitis.
Research: Enteroviruses are the most studied form of virus in some major institutes in Belgium including Rega Institute for Medical Research, University of Leuven and Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Brussels.