Viral meningitis is a serious infection of the lining of the brain. It is caused by a number of common viruses but most people infected by these viruses do not get viral meningitis. Viral meningitis is not common.
When one person gets the disease it does not usually spread to others. Outbreaks of the disease are rare. It is not necessary to keep a person with viral meningitis away from others.
Some signs of viral meningitis are:
To find out if someone has viral meningitis, a doctor uses a needle to take some fluid from around the spinal cord. The fluid is tested to see if a virus or bacteria caused the disease.
Children may feel very sick and may be hospitalized. Children usually get better in about one or two weeks. There are usually not any long-term health problems after viral meningitis.
Most people who are in contact with someone with viral meningitis will not catch meningitis themselves.
Viral meningitis is a reportable disease in British Columbia: If there is a case of viral meningitis in a child or adult in the child care centre or school, immediately report the case to the Licensing Officer or Public Health Nurse assigned to your centre or school.
Print this page as featured in the guide book, Sneezes & Diseases: A Resource Book for Caregivers & Parents.