Viral meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges associated with acute onset of meningeal symptoms and fever, pleocytosis of the cerebrospinal fluid, and no growth on routine bacterial culture. It is sometimes associated with viral encephalitis and meningoencephalitis. Viruses reach the central nervous system (CNS) hematogenously or in a retrograde manner from nerve endings. The viral etiology varies according to age and country. Molecular diagnostics technology has helped improve the rate of pathogen detection reducing unnecessary antibiotic use and length of hospitalization. Most of the viral infections detailed in this article have no specific treatment other than supportive care. Many of the viruses discussed are preventable by vaccination and proper skin protection against transmitting vectors.
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