Meningitis is an inflammation (swelling) of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. A bacterial or viral infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord usually causes the swelling. However, injuries, cancer, certain drugs, and other types of infections also can cause meningitis. It is important to know the specific cause of meningitis because the treatment differs depending on the cause.
As of January 2013, unspecified bacterial, fungal, and aseptic/viral meningitis are no longer reportable.
What kinds of meningitis are still reportable?
- Meningitis caused by any ameba
- Meningitis caused by a reportable condition such as Neisseria meningitidis (meningococcal meningitis), Streptococcus pyogenes/agalactiae/pneumoniae, varicella, etc.
- Meningitis or encephalitis caused by an arbovirus