Prevention of viral meningitis:
Viral meningitis can be prevented with a vaccination:
The MMR is a routine vaccination given as a part of the childhood immunisation programme to prevent meningitis caused by mumps and measles.
Viruses also spread person to person via coughing and sneezing and unwashed hands. So practicing good hygiene is a very basic prevention method.
Treatment of viral meningitis:
There is no specific treatment for most cases of viral meningitis. Patients need to be hydrated with fluids and allowed to rest in order to make as complete a recovery as possible.
Headaches can be treated by giving a suitable painkiller.
Sponging, fans and suitable drugs (Paracetamol) can be used to reduce temperature.
Nausea and vomiting can be treated using anti-emetics and by replacing fluids by mouth or vein (drip).
Antibiotics are not effective against viruses. However, in some instances antibiotics may be started on admission to hospital because the cause of the meningitis is not known. Antibiotics are usually discontinued if a virus is identified.
If herpes simplex virus has been identified, treatment with Aciclovir is possible. This treatment has been shown to be effective in killing this particular virus.