How can viral meningitis be prevented?

Updated: Jul 17, 2018
  • Author: Cordia Wan, MD; Chief Editor: Niranjan N Singh, MBBS, MD, DM, FAHS, FAANEM  more...
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Answer

Pregnant women should avoid exposure to rodents, rats, and house mice, which carry LCMV. Some investigators even suggest avoidance of young children and public pools by pregnant women in the third trimester, in order to decrease the risk of enteroviral colonization and transmission to the fetus. Infected pets also pose a risk to pregnant women.

Neonates should be kept away from exposure to mosquitoes, for the prevention of arboviral infection.

Vaccination remains the most potent means of combating infections by polio, measles, mumps, and varicella viruses.

Strict handwashing is effective in controlling the spread of enterovirus-related infections, but maintaining public hygiene remains a problem in some developing countries.

The education of sex partners about the use of barrier devices can significantly decrease the incidence of HSV-2 infections.

Protection against mosquito exposure (using insect sprays, netting, and eradication of breeding sites) should be exercised to prevent arbovirus infection and is especially important in vulnerable patients, such as the young.

Avoidance of exposure to rodents can decrease the incidence of LCMV meningoencephalitis. Infected pets, house mice, and rats pose a risk to pregnant women.

For patient education information, see the Brain and Nervous System Center and Children's Health Center. Also, see the patient education articles Meningitis in Adults, Meningitis in Children, Encephalitis, and Ticks.


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