There are different types of meningitis, and lots of people think viral meningitis is the ‘less serious’ type, but that is wrong. Viral meningitis rarely kills, but it does make people very ill, causing them to suffer from exhaustion, dizziness, depression or memory loss. Babies and young children are at higher risk of getting viral meningitis compared to adults.
- Fever (feeling very hot) but hands and feet are cold
- Not eating
- Being sick
- Drowsy, floppy arms and legs
- Breathing very quickly
- Pale skin with spots/rash
- For babies, not crying normally
- Not liking bright light
- Seizures (change in behaviour, shaking, collapsing, numbness, difficulty talking/signing)
There is not a specific medicine given to people who have viral meningitis.
Antibiotics doesn’t help viral meningitis. If you go to hospital because you feel unwell, the doctors may give you antibiotics to begin with because the doctors do not know what is wrong with you. When they realise you have viral meningitis, they will stop giving you antibiotics.
They will make sure you are hydrated (have enough liquid inside you) possibly by putting tubes into you. These are harmless. You may be given painkillers, and you will be told to rest.
Sometimes, a virus called ‘herpes simplex’ can cause viral meningitis, and to treat it you may be given a drug called Aciclovir.
Common After Effects of Viral Meningitis
- Memory loss
- Dizziness/ balance problems
- Hearing difficulties