Meningitis happens when the spinal column and brain’s lining become inflamed. This lining is called the meninges. Aseptic meningitis occurs when there are signs of meningitis. However, when a sample of brain fluid is taken, bacteria or fungi are not seen or do not grow.
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The most common causes of aseptic meningitis are:
Factors that can increase your chance of developing aseptic meningitis include:
Symptoms of aseptic meningitis include.
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
You may need to have samples taken of your bodily fluids. This can be done with:
You may have pictures taken of your brain. This can be done with:
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Most cases of aseptic meningitis improve with time. Treatment options include:
Note: Aspirin is not recommended for children or teens with a current or recent viral infection. This is because of the risk of Reye's syndrome. Ask your doctor which other medications are safe for your child.
To help reduce your chance of getting aseptic meningitis, take the following steps:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Meningitis Research Foundation of Canada
Aseptic meningitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated September 4, 2012. Accessed June 25, 2013.
Ginsberg L, Kidd D. Chronic and recurrent meningitis. Pract Neurol . 2008;8(6):348-361.
Jolles S, Sewell WA, Leighton C. Drug-induced aseptic meningitis: diagnosis and management. Drug Saf . 2000 Mar;22(3):215-26.
Meningococcal disease. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/about/index.html . Updated March 15, 2012. Accessed June 25, 2013.
Norris C, Danis P, Gardner T. Aseptic meningitis in the newborn and young infant. Am Fam Physician . 1999;59(10):2761-2770.
Last reviewed June 2013 by Michael Woods, MD
Last Updated: 6/24/2013