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Is Viral Meningitis Contagious

Updated on March 7, 2010

The cover of the spinal cord and brain is known as meninges and when inflammation occurs at this part of the body, it is known as meningitis. Meningitis can happen to anyone but in most cases the children, young adults and teens are mostly infected with this condition. Specially, when there are the people who stay in dormitories and apartments, are more prone to meningitis. When someone asks “is meningitis contagious?”, then let me tell you, it is highly contagious and so sometimes you get headlines of meningitis outbreaks in schools or boarding houses.

The meningitis is generally of two types, the bacterial meningitis and viral meningitis.

The bacterial meningitis spreads rapidly and even it can turn into a fatal condition within few days. Some of the symptoms attached with bacterial meningitis are high fever, severe headache and a stiff neck. This also includes various symptoms like the nausea, confusion, light sensitivity and rashes all over the body. If there are any such symptoms, the doctors should be consulted immediately. The bacterial meningitis is common among the two types and the most severe as well. It can cause brain damage, kidney damage, haring loss and loss of limbs. There are two different types of bacteria that is responsible for the condition and they are Haemophilus influenzae type b and Streptococcus.

On the other hand, the viral meningitis is more common than the bacterial meningitis and thus this is the most common meningitis condition.  The severity of this condition is much less than the bacterial meningitis and the common symptoms that are visible in patients are fever, headache and a stiff neck. It is common for those of the infected wit the viral meningitis and this can experience in seizures.

Many people asks, “Is viral meningitis contagious?”, and the answer to this question is yes and moreover there is much more complicacies than this. Unlike bacterial meningitis, the viral meningitis is a minor disease that rarely causes long term problems. On the other hand, the bacterial meningitis is a more serious and can be fatal at times.

The causes of meningitis:

Different viruses can be responsible to cause meningitis and most of the viruses are highly contagious. One of the most common meningitis are known as enteroviruses and they spread when they gets contact with saliva, nasal secretions and feces.  This contact can be done while kissing, sneezing, coughing or changing the diapers. It can also be caused by touching or being handling by the infected person.

These germs get easily passed from one person to another and not everyone becomes infected with the symptoms of meningitis. A small percentage of the infected person can also show signs of illness. Sometimes, the virus can get passed way not showing any symptoms.

There can be exceptions to the rule; the viral meningitis cannot be contagious. In some cases, the virus that caused the illness can be carried by mosquitoes. In that case, the viruses borne out of the mosquito may not get pass from one person to another.  


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    • almasi profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for a useful hub.

    • profile image

      sally more 

      8 years ago

      is it possible to catch this viral from mosquitos and pass it tosome one else

    • profile image

      Claire lucas 

      8 years ago

      Hi i went on holiday to australia and believe i caught this illness on the plane, the symptoms were constantly waking up with nausea having to vomit every 5 minutes, severe headaches, aching muscles and joints, cold sweats, cold shivers and even fainting. My doctor told me i had mild meningitis and cannot believe how i survived it. Can you please tell me if she was right.


      Claire Lucas


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