Aseptic Meningitis (Viral Meningitis)

The 1990 case definition appearing on this page was re-published in the 1997 MMWR Recommendations and Reports titled Case Definitions for Infectious Conditions Under Public Health Surveillance [MMWR 1997;46(RR10)] (available at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00047449.htm). Thus, the 1990 and 1997 versions of the case definition are identical.

Clinical description

A syndrome characterized by acute onset of meningeal symptoms, fever, and cerebrospinal fluid pleocytosis, with bacteriologically sterile cultures. (See Encephalitis, Arboviral.)

Laboratory criteria for diagnosis

  • No evidence of bacterial or fungal meningitis

Case classification

Confirmed: a clinically compatible illness diagnosed by a physician as aseptic meningitis, with no laboratory evidence of bacterial or fungal meningitis

Comment

Aseptic meningitis is a syndrome of multiple etiologies, but many cases are caused by a viral agent.

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