How to tell if you have viral meningitis?

You wake up one day feeling a bit under the weather. Maybe you have a headache, or perhaps you just feel more tired than usual. As the day goes on, you start to notice other symptoms – sensitivity to light, stiff neck, and maybe even a fever. Oh no, could it be viral meningitis?

Viral meningitis is an infection that affects the membranes surrounding your brain and spinal cord. While not as severe as bacterial meningitis (which can be life-threatening), it’s still important to know how to tell if you have viral meningitis so that you can seek medical attention promptly.

What Causes Viral Meningitis?

Before we get into how to identify this pesky illness, let’s take a moment to discuss what causes it in the first place.

As its name suggests, viral meningitis is caused by a virus (shocker). There are several viruses that can cause this type of infection including:

  • Enteroviruses
  • Herpes simplex virus
  • Varicella-zoster virus (aka Chickenpox)
  • West Nile virus

These viruses are typically spread through contact with contaminated surfaces or bodily fluids such as saliva (gross) or mucus.

Now onto the fun stuff! How do we actually determine if we’re suffering from this delightful illness?

Symptom Checker: Do You Have Viral Meningitis?

It’s essential always better safe than sorry when dealing with potential health issues—you needn’t play doctor(you’re not qualified) for lack of trust on hospitals(the last thing anyone wants)! Take note of these possible coronavirus symptoms:

Common Symptoms

The most common indicators which may prompt suspicion of V.M is:

  1. Fever
  2. Headache
  3. Nausea + Vomiting
    4.Stiff Neck
  4. Aching muschles / Body fatigue

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, it may be time to call up your healthcare provider (Don’t assume what disease attack on yourself). However, before we jump to any conclusions(we are just getting started), consider the following:

Think Outside the Box: Uncommon Symptoms

In addition to the common symptoms above, viral meningitis can cause a range of less typical signs as well. Consider being aware of these rare and hidden side effects below – prepare for the unknown.

  1. Vision problems
    2.Trouble standing/sitting straight for long periods of time.
    3.Fatigue at random hours without taking tiresome activities which could trigger this feeling.
    4.Backwards thinking or intellectual issues concerning memory retention –
    you find yourself struggling with mental processes like reading or writing that were easy in once while solving formulae becomes overwhelming
    5.Excessive urination

These bizarre symptoms should not alarm Boomers, but young adults(okay maybe still alarming) who might experience complex cognitive downtime suddenly.

So observe any significant changes paired with regular flu-like signs and let’s move onto diagnosis!

Going Head First into Diagnosis

Don’t worry—the diagnostic process for viral meningitis isn’t as complicated as you think it is(easy-peasy)… Confused?

Physical Examination

When examining patients exhibiting potential cases of V.M; doctors rely heavily upon physical examination such as checking reflexes, behaviors when sin testing nerves. Not-so-fun fact—these examinations might include torture techniques such as “meningeal irritation” testing(bending neck).

We know sounds fun right? Do keep in mind that clear communication between Doctor and Patient really affects evaluation quality (be honest!).

Other Tests You Might Have To Take

Like every medical case presented certain tests need to be taken against possible illnesses based on consultation from practitioner’s experiences – But what other fish are caught in the net?

  1. Blood Test

A sample of your blood is taken to rule prevent or identify other related conditions and transferable infections(you don’t want more than one thing at a time – some things were meant to be exclusive) such as meningococcus bacteria.

  1. Lumbar puncture(spinal tap!)

If results from initial physical examinations lead Doctors towards viral meningitis; they may take spinal fluid samples to ensure that treatment for it will be proactive (Doctors prefer not gambling when it comes to neurological diseases). This slightly invasive procedure involves, with much regret- backache-inducing moments.

3.Imaging Tests(surprise!)

In rare cases medical imaging tests aren’t accurate enough alone but can provide an additional layer of depth on brain function/reactions and infection/anything concerning cognitive ability.

The Verdict

If after followed testing, practitioners confirm viral meningitis diagnosis(we wouldn’t wave pom-poms about this one…quite yet), begin taking treatments(a lot)-(this might requires long stays in hospitals!). Antiviral medications such as Acyclovir(generic name) are prescribed immediately(Action stations!); often accompanied by fluids owing which speeds up recovery time!.

But remember we all able humans(you too!)-not invincible-but have control over how our precautions against virus illness.
Wash hands frequently, wear face masks when necessary (no judgement here!), get plenty of rest(with 5 hour intervals!), eat well-balanced healthy meals (a chocolate cake diet won’t keep the Covid19 away) and seek help if you experience odd symptoms.

Because at worst case scenario you’ll just end up having bit more fun talking inside jokes with hospital workers(statuses) while being kept isolated below hazmat suits for a couple weeks(any moment now).

And all sarcasm aside—it’s important always better safe(getting jabbed💉) than sorry(not to be a downer- but it does pay well). Yes, excitement and frolic are in the air, but let’s not catch anything unwanted(!), shall we? #StaySafe

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