Where did meningitis come from?
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Q:

Where did meningitis come from?

A:

Quick Answer

According to Dr. Ananya Mandal for News-Medical.net, meningitis has been described in many ancient texts. Hippocrates even wrote about the disease is his medical books. For this reason, it is believed to have been around for many years.

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Full Answer

According to Dr. Mandal, the first officially documented outbreak of meningitis occurred 1805. Gaspard Vieusseux and Andre Matthey of Geneva reported an epidemic of the disease during the early 1800s. Elisa North of Massachusetts reported an epidemic in her area soon after that time. After these first outbreaks, many other outbreaks occurred in both Europe and the United States. The first outbreak in Africa was not documented until 1840. The disease’s origin is unknown; however, by the 19th century, it had been found and documented in Europe, North America and Africa. The disease originated many years previously, but medical documentation was not prevalent.

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    What causes viral meningitis?

    A:

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, enteroviruses cause viral meningitis. In addition, other viral infections such as mumps, Epstein-Barr, measles, herpes simplex, varicella zoster, influenza and mosquito-born viruses can cause viral meningitis.

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  • Q:

    What is bacterial meningitis?

    A:

    Bacterial meningitis is a disease resulting from a bacterial infection that causes the meninges to become inflamed, notes Mayo Clinic. Bacterial meningitis is usually a very severe disease that must be treated quickly and efficiently to prevent lifelong injury or death.

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    Is viral meningitis contagious?

    A:

    According to the New York State Department of Health, some of the enteroviruses that can cause viral meningitis are contagious. However, not all of the viruses that cause meningitis are contagious.

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  • Q:

    What is the difference between bacterial and viral meningitis?

    A:

    The differences between viral and bacterial meningitis are their causes, the severity of their symptoms, the rate at which symptoms develop and how they are treated, according to the National Meningitis Association. Bacterial meningitis symptoms can develop more rapidly, are more severe and have longer-lasting consequences than viral meningitis, according to the NMA.

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