Viral (caused by a virus)
- Viral meningitis is
more common than bacterial meningitis. Meningitis from most viruses is
rarely life threatening. But some can cause long-standing nervous
system complications or death. Viral meningitis can be caused by
different viruses. It is spread between people by coughing or
sneezing, or through poor hygiene. Rarely, insects such as mosquitoes
and ticks may spread these viruses.
- In a few cases, viral
meningitis can be helped by special antiviral medicines that target
specific viruses. Most people have a full recovery. But headaches,
fatigue, and depression may continue.
Bacterial (caused by a
- Bacterial meningitis,
although rare, may be fatal.
- Bacteria may be spread
through respiratory and throat fluids. This can be through coughing
- Many species of
bacteria can cause meningitis. Below are 4 types:
meningitis (meningococcus). This is a common cause of bacterial
meningitis in children 2 to 18 years of age. It is spread by
respiratory droplets and close contact. Meningococcal meningitis
occurs most often in the first year of life. But it may also
occur in people who lived in close quarters, such as a college
pneumoniae (pneumococcus). This is the most common and most
serious form of bacterial meningitis. People with weak immune
systems are most at risk.
influenzae type b. The hibvaccine has greatly decreased the
number of cases in the U.S. Children who don't have access to
the vaccine and those in daycare centers are at higher risk of
getting this illness.
monocytogenes. This has become a more frequent cause of
meningitis in newborns, pregnant women, people older than age
60, and in people of all ages who have a weak immune
|Fungal meningitis (caused by a fungus)
- Fungal meningitis is very uncommon. It can happen
in people with a weak immune system. This might be from AIDS or
- Fungal infections can rarely be caused by medical
procedures. This can happen if there is contamination.
|Aseptic meningitis (meningitis without an
- Aseptic meningitis can occur when there is
inflammation of the meninges froma immune response.
- Autoimmune disorders and certain medicines can
cause inflammation without an infection.
- Sometimes meningitis can be caused by cancer
cells in the spinal fluid.