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: Meningitis, gastroenteritis, respiratory disease and fever were the most frequent diseases according to a study published in 2001 in Norway. ECHO virus 30, ECHO virus 6 and coxsackievirus A16 were the most common serotypes. 33 % of patients were younger than two years of age.
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 among the most studied for viral meningitis with Laboratorium for medisinsk mikrobiologi, St Olavs Hospital, Trondheim as one of the canters of research study in Norway.