What Are the Neurological Side Effects From Viral Meningitis?

Effects

If a viral infection progresses to meningitis, the neurological effects include irritability, sleepiness or difficulty waking up, stiff and sore neck, severe headache and photosensitivity (sensitivity to light).

Duration

The effects of viral meningitis usually last from 7 to 10 days and are rarely fatal unless the infected person has a compromised immune system (e.g. cancer, AIDS).

Treatment

Effects of viral meningitis can be minimized with rest, fluids and pain relievers.

Warning

Because some of the symptoms of viral meningitis are the same as those of bacterial meningitis, and some cases of bacterial meningitis can be fatal, you should see your doctor immediately if you think you or your child has meningitis.

Prevention

Avoid contact with people who have any of the viral infections that can cause meningitis, get yearly vaccinations against seasonal influenza, wash hands frequently and clean contaminated surfaces with disinfectant.