As we continue previewing Viral Meningitis Week, here are five facts you might not know
1. Molleret’s meningitis is the name given to a recurring form of meningitis. This is a rare condition believed to be caused in many cases by infection with a member of the herpes family of viruses. If you have experienced viral meningitis more than once, we would encourage you to ask your GP to investigate it to try and determine the cause. If the herpes simplex virus is identified as the cause, treatment is possible with the anti-viral drug Aciclovir.
2. There is no specific guidance for hospitals for the follow-up of viral meningitis patients. Generally a lot less is understood about viral meningitis and the effect it has on sufferers, compared to bacterial meningitis. Many people feel they are not taken seriously and face their recovery alone. If you have had viral meningitis and have not been offered a follow-up appointment, we would always recommend that you make an appointment with your own GP.
3. Responding to our survey - 97% of the 450 people who have had viral meningitis reported experiencing after-effects. After-effects reported include; exhaustion, headaches, memory loss, anxiety, depression, dizziness/balance problems, hearing difficulties, noise intolerance and light aversion. 10% of people responding to the survey were still experiencing after-effects 6-12 months after their initial illness and an additional 7% still had after-effects that lasted for more than one year.
4. It is not known how many people get viral meningitis in the UK each year. Most cases of viral meningitis are not severe enough to need hospital admission and treatment, but experts believe there are many thousands of cases. Although rarely life-threatening, it can make people very unwell, and while most people do make a good recovery, for some recovery can be slow and after-effects long lasting.
5. Many different viruses can cause viral meningitis. The most common group of viruses to cause viral meningitis are called enteroviruses. These viruses live in the intestines and can commonly cause colds, sore throats, vomiting and diarrhoea. Only rarely do these viruses spread through the body to the meninges to cause meningitis. Other causes include the mumps, measles and herpes viruses.
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