Central Nervous System Infections

Several viruses can infect the central nervous system, which consists of the brain and spinal cord. For example, enteroviruses and herpes viruses can cause meningitis and encephalitis. According to an October 2014 article published in the "The Neurohospitalist," other viral causes of central nervous system infections are emerging, including West Nile virus, Japanese encephalitis virus, human parechoviruses and Chikungunya virus. Meningitis is an inflammation of the tissue surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain tissue itself. The symptoms of these central nervous system infections overlap and can include fever, headache, neck stiffness and light sensitivity. Mental status changes are common, including confusion, mood instability, extreme lack of energy and possibly coma. Seizures occur in some people with meningitis or encephalitis.

  • Rabies
  • Encephalitis
  • Poliomyelitis

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