Nuts and Bolts Behind Fungal Meningitis

Lynchburg, VA - You may have a lot of questions about the current meningitis outbreak affecting Virginia.

First of all, meningitis is an inflammation of the tissue surrounding a person's brain or spinal cord.

Here are some other frequently asked questions from the Virginia Department of Health that may help you out.

What can cause meningitis?

Meningitis is usually caused by bacteria or viruses. But meningitis can also have other causes, including

different types of fungus. Fungal meningitis is rare. In this investigation, fungus has been identified in

several patients.

Is fungal meningitis treatable?

Fungal meningitis is treated with long courses of high dose antifungal medications. This is usually given

using an IV line and is done in the hospital.

Are people who have fungal meningitis contagious?

No, people who have fungal meningitis are not contagious. It is not transmitted from person to person.

What are the symptoms of the patients in this outbreak?

Symptoms include a fever, new or worsening headache, nausea, and new symptoms that look like a

stroke, such as falling or having problems walking or talking. While some of the patients in this outbreak

have very mild symptoms, in some cases the symptoms can get worse and be life threatening. Currently the Virginia Department of Health is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other states on a multi-state investigation of meningitis and strokes in patients who received spinal injections.

To follow their latest updates click here.