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Diseases » Viral meningitis » Contagiousness

Is Viral meningitis Contagious?

Transmission of Viral meningitis from Person to Person

Viral meningitis has subtypes that are considered contagious and also has subtypes that are not contagious. Generally the disease can be transmitted by saliva, air, cough, fecal-oral route, surfaces, blood, needles, blood transfusions, sexual contact, mother to fetus, etc., but not ALL subtypes.
Viral meningitis, although infectious, is not a genetic disease. It is not caused by a defective or abnormal gene.

Contagion summary:

The viruses that cause viral meningitis are contagious. (Source: excerpt from Viral (Aseptic) Meningitis: DVRD)

Discussion about Contagion of Viral meningitis:

Viral (Aseptic) Meningitis: DVRD (Excerpt)

The viruses that cause viral meningitis are contagious.  Enteroviruses, for example, are very common during the summer and early fall, and many people are exposed to them.  However, most infected persons either have no symptoms or develop only a cold or rash with low-grade fever.  Typically, fewer than 1 of every 1000 persons infected actually develop meningitis.  Therefore, if you are around someone who has viral meningitis, you have a moderate chance of becoming infected, but a very small chance of developing meningitis. (Source: excerpt from Viral (Aseptic) Meningitis: DVRD)

Viral (Aseptic) Meningitis: DVRD (Excerpt)

Enteroviruses, the most common cause of viral meningitis, are most often spread through direct contact with respiratory secretions (e.g., saliva, sputum, or nasal mucus) of an infected person.  This usually happens by shaking hands with an infected person or touching something they have handled, and then rubbing your own nose, mouth or eyes.  The virus can also be found in the stool of persons who are infected.  The virus is spread through this route mainly among small children who are not yet toilet trained.  It can also be spread this way to adults changing the diapers of an infected infant.  The incubation period for enteroviruses is usually between 3 and 7 days from the time you are infected until you develop symptoms.  You can usually spread the virus to someone else beginning about 3 days after you are infected until about 10 days after you develop symptoms. (Source: excerpt from Viral (Aseptic) Meningitis: DVRD)

About contagion and contagiousness:

Contagion and contagiousness refers to how easily the spread of Viral meningitis is possible from one person to another. Other words for contagion include "infection", "infectiousness", "transmission" or "transmissability". Contagiousness has nothing to do with genetics or inheriting diseases from parents. For an overview of contagion, see Introduction to Contagion.


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