We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Meningoencephalitis?

By Dulce Corazon
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

When an infectious agent such as a virus, a fungus, or a bacterium enters the body, the immune system usually sends white blood cells to fight off the infection. The result is often an inflammation in the affected area, characterized by pain, swelling, and redness. An inflammation that occurs in the brain tissues is generally called encephalitis, and when this affects the membrane covering the spinal cord and brain, it is referred to as meningitis. When meningitis and encephalitis are both present, the condition is frequently referred to as meningoencephalitis or sometimes, encephalomeningitis.

Meningoencephalitis is often associated with several other conditions. These include viral infections like measles, West Nile fever, and rabies. Measles is commonly seen in children and usually is characterized by rashes all over the body. Rabies is often transmitted through the bites of infected wild and domesticated animals. The West Nile fever is contracted through the bites of infected mosquitoes.

Examples of bacterial infections that may also result in meningoencephalitis are Lyme disease and Pontiac fever. Lyme disease is usually transmitted by the bite of infected ticks. The bacteria causing Pontiac fever often thrive in water sources such as pools and showers and may infect individuals exposed to these water sources.

Infection with the parasite Naegleria fowleri commonly leads to a condition known as primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). This is a rare, but often devastating, disease that causes death several days after exposure to the parasite. Prompt diagnosis and treatment is often necessary in the management of patients with PAM.

The symptoms of meningoencephalitis include fever, rigidity of the neck muscles, headache, and vomiting. Many patients have also experienced seizures, changes in behavior, alteration of consciousness, and memory loss during the infection. Some may present with partial paralysis of both the arms and the legs. In infants, there may be bulging of the fontanel, a soft area that can be felt in the infant's head.

Doctors usually diagnose their patients basing on their medical history, symptoms, and neurological and physical examination findings. Diagnostic tests may also be done, such as blood tests, urine test, and analysis of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), the fluid contained inside the spinal cord and brain. A computed tomography (CT) scan, as well as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), may be done to detect inflammations in the brain.

Treatment often depends on the infectious agent causing meningoencephalitis. Antiviral drugs or antibiotics are usually given in cases of viral or bacterial infections, respectively. Other medications are also frequently given to relieve pain and swelling in the brain. Severe meningoencephalitis cases often need to be confined in the hospital for intravenous administration of drugs and monitoring of patients.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.