Aseptic Meningitis


Most aseptic (viral) meningitis cases are caused by a virus.


Meningitis is an infection of the membranes surrounding the brain and the spinal cord. People sometimes refer to meningitis as spinal meningitis. Meningitis can be caused by a virus or by non-viral agents (such as a bacterium or a fungus). Different viruses can lead to viral meningitis.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most aseptic (viral) meningitis cases in the United States, particularly during the summer and fall months, are caused by enteroviruses (which include enteroviruses, coxsackieviruses, and echoviruses). Only a small number of people with enterovirus infections develop meningitis.

Other viral infections that can lead to aseptic (viral) meningitis include mumps, infection with herpes family viruses (such as Epstein-Barr virus, herpes simplex viruses, and varicella-zoster virus—the cause of chickenpox and shingles), measles, and influenza.

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