Meningitis is a severe neurological disease inflaming the central nervous system, causing the succumbed effects on the spinal cord and brain coverings. Depending on etymological statements, meningitis has several variations like bacteriological, mycotic, virus, and medicamentory. The classification is based on the affecting source.
Virus meningitis could be affected by various pathogens. However, the most common diagnosis is used as herpes simplex meningitis; this has a very simple explanation. Herpes simplex is the mainstream reason to expand the virus meningitis. Modern virology determines nearly 90 types of viruses.
Thus, herpes meningoencephalitis is an acute infectious disease caused by the herpes simplex virus. This virus affects the nervous system and indicates general brain and focal symptoms. The site of entry is mucous coat or skin.
The beginning of the disease has a very acute nature. The patient has a fever, meningitis symptoms, and even epileptic seizures. The severity of the disease proves the specific WHO research stressing over 70% of mortal cases among the succumbed patients with poor relief prognosis.
Nevertheless, there are cases when patients recover completely. But, the treating doctors should prescribe post-treatment therapy to improve the general health conditions and return a normal lifestyle, which they had before the virus intervention, to the patient.
Herpes meningoencephalitis triggers
Classic medical theory highlights that herpes simplex virus meningitis identifies three subtypes of herpes simplex:
- the first, which is most commonly known as periodic appearance of lip rash;
- the second is so-called genital herpes;
- the third and most hazardous one is herpes meningoencephalitis which induces complicated and mortality consequences among its sufferers.
Predominantly the main trigger is the second subtype which accompanies the herpes meningoencephalitis as a final result of the neglected disease and one of the possible impairing health complications.
The potential risk groups affected by this CNS-related disease are people whose health state is weak and needs safer care. They are patients with:
- traumatic brain injuries,
- infectious and inflammatory processes in their organism,
- psychoemotional stresses, and
- immunodeficiency disorders of any genesis.
So, herpes simplex, like any virus, easily enters into the organism debilitated by medical therapy especially using antibiotics, radiation, and chemotherapy. The mentioned treatment methods lessen the safety abilities of the organism, which could not defend itself against the insidious diseases.
The virus can be absorbed via airborne droplets and transmitted into the spinal cord neural joints- where it will live in the form of hidden danger for a long time and activate under comfortable conditions.
One more factor is complicated intoxications caused by heavy metals, carbonic monoxides, or organic dissolvents. The immune system disorders also are familiar triggers for disease development; this happens when the immune system begins to produce cells attracting the brain. However, the medical clarifications of such a process are still undefined.
Herpes simplex virus meningitis symptoms and diagnosis
The classic symptoms of herpes meningoencephalitis include the following signs:
- intense headache with photophobia effects,
- fever with high temperature and strongly general uneasiness,
- hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating,
- muscle pains,
- repeated vomiting reactions without reference to a meal,
- the patient can not lean the head forward,
- coordination of movements list significantly,
- the emotional state is aggressive or depressive,
- enlarged lymph nodes.
One of the very first symptoms is often skin rash typical for the herpes virus and resembling thousands of tiny vesicles.
The acute heavy states have additional signs which deteriorate the overall patient health and complicate the treatment process because they include:
- cerebral edema,
- psychiatric disturbances in the form of hallucinations, confused mental states, and disorientations in the existing situations,
- specific reflection disorders and symptoms easily observed, i.e. aseptic meningitis syndrome (a state of brain or spinal cord excitation accompanied with meningitis symptoms, but the real inflammation reactions are absent), and meningeal signs,
- Semi paralysis and full paralysis,
- epileptic seizures.
An adequate treatment approach could reduce the relevant symptoms during approximately a week; however, some heavy and complicated cases lead to coma and mortality. The successful cases have some complications like endocarditis and postprimary epilepsy.
The diagnosis is suggested on a clinical basis and confirmed by laboratory-serological tests of blood material, cerebrospinal fluid, saliva, and other biological samplings. In addition, instrumental examinations (MRT, tomography, radiography, etc.) are prescribed as needed. These examinations help receive the detailed clinical picture and speed up the correct treatment approach to prevent fatal scenarios.
Treatment process and medical prognosis for herpes meningoencephalitis
The treatment plan for patients with herpes simplex virus meningitis includes mandatory immediate hospitalization in the infectious diseases clinical department. The patients are recommended to follow bed rest, detoxification and infusion therapy, anti-inflammatory drugs are applied, improving microcirculation, lowering intracranial pressure, etc.
A spinal puncture has a beneficial effect, leading to a decrease in intracerebral pressure (one of the key links in pathogenesis) and correction of the health state. At the post-hospital stage, the patient needs to be monitored by a neurologist and take vitamins and nootropic drugs.
The essential thing is to take preventive measures against herpes simplex related meningitis:
- careful observation of the rules of personal hygiene,
- washing vegetables and fruits, and
- active sport limitation like swimming in open, unsuitable waters.
However, it should be said that preventing the development of herpes simplex virus meningitis is quite hard work due to a predisposition of the vast majority of the global population towards the infection effects with herpes viruses of types 1, 2, and 3.
It does matter to adhere to the health rules for elimination of the herpes simplex virus contact, notably:
- to maintain the proper level of immunity (healthy lifestyle);
- to prevent HIV infection (including the use of contraception and refusal from parenteral drugs);
- to vaccinate yourself;
- to initiate early antiherpetic therapy for herpes zoster and exacerbate of herpes simplex;
- avoid contact of newborns with patients having active forms of herpes infection (exacerbation).
Meningitis with ARVI and influenza do not have clear diagnostic differences from meningitis of herpesvirus etiology; there is a connection with a portable or recently transferred respiratory disease.
Where could the herpes simplex virus be spread?The virus referred to as the herpes simplex group could be found worldwide; however, the most famous locations are the African continent, near the Sahara. That’s why the traveling fans reflect the risky category and adhere to the respective preventive measures. In any case, if an ordinary person feels any unusual symptoms mentioned in this article, they should contact our doctors to receive a comprehensive consultation and even pass the examination procedure.
Is the clinical treatment enough for the herpes meningoencephalitis recovery?Everyone should realize that their excellent physical and mental health state depends on their personal attitudes and efforts. In this case, after patients with the herpes meningoencephalitis diagnosis confirmed herpes are checked out of the clinic, they need to follow the doctor’s prescription and recommendations for complete relief. Such directions always contain the nonclinical methods which speed up the recovery process.
What recovery measures could be applied at the clinical post-treatment step?The patient post-treatment checklist should include: diet because vitamins and minerals are key remedy agents to recover the weak immune system of the patient, physical therapy covering various training to improve their physical strength, ergotherapy aimed at adapting the patient to the living environment, cognitive therapy, meaning the exercises dedicated to recovering attention, memory, and logical thinking. Our professional doctors will always help you draw up the recovery schedule and select the most helpful training program.
Are there any preventive measures for healthy people to eliminate the infection probability?For prevention purposes, the following recommendations should be adhered to: Healthy people are advised to avoid the possibility of contact with sick people via airborne contamination. The use of contraception will reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections and as a consequence of herpetic meningitis. Active physical exercises and proper nutrition will strengthen the immune system. Pay more attention to personal hygiene rules. Timely consultation with a specialized doctor will help you get more information about the possibility of contracting the disease.
What should I do if my neurological signs seem like meningitis?If you ever notice meningitis-related symptoms, you should immediately appeal to our specialists who have valid knowledge and skills in healing various neurological diseases.