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Can Viral Meningitis return?
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Can Viral Meningitis return?

I had a sever case of viral meningitis in 2008. Is it the type of virus (like the chicken pox virus) that stays in your system and can reactivate years later? The reason I ask is that I have had a fever for 5 days and a stiff neck/back of head.
Some background info- I have Chiari Malformation which was not diagnosed until 2010. I had the brain decompression surgery the same year.  I am wondering if I may possibly have meningitis again but a milder case since the the crowding the Chiari caused has been relieved?
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Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with a doctor.

Without the ability to examine and obtain a history, I can not tell you what the exact cause of the symptoms is. However I will try to provide you with some useful information.

Meningitis can be recurrent. First of all, if you suspect you have meningitis, you need to be evaluated ASAP. This will include a lumbar puncture to assess the type. Bacterial meningitis can be recurrent in people who have cerebrospinal fluid leaks or fistulas, immunodeficiency, etc. Other conditions can cause a recurrent meningitis. These include medications (such as NSAIDs) and perhaps various rheumatological disorders such as lupus.

There is a self-limiting viral meningitis that can be recurrent. This is called Mollaret’s meningitis. The cause is typically from a virus called Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) 2.

Again, I highly recommend that you be evaluated ASAP if you suspect meningitis.

Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions, I hope you find the information I have provided useful, good luck.

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