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Aseptic Meningitis Causes & Risks


A number of viruses can cause viral meningitis including:

Most of these are also able to cause encephalitis . This is an inflammation of the brain tissue. It is a much more serious condition.

Viruses that cause meningitis can be spread in numerous ways:

  • Enteroviruses are spread:
    • Via direct contact with respiratory secretions of an infected person
    • Through feces
  • Other viruses (mumps, herpes, chickenpox) spread though close personal contact or through the air
  • Some viruses (West Nile) that cause encephalitis are spread by insects

Risk Factors

Risk factors for viral meningitis include:

  • Conditions that weaken the immune system, such as HIV infection (which itself can lead to meningitis/encephalitis)
  • Immunosuppressive treatments
  • Crowded, unsanitary conditions
  • Season: summer and early fall

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Aseptic Meningitis Guide

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