Student Health Service

To Promote and Advance the Health and Wellbeing of our Students

Viral (“aseptic”) Meningitis Case


May 8, 2017

A Wake Forest student was hospitalized on May 6, 2017 with a diagnosis of viral (or “aseptic”) meningitis.  The Student Health Service is providing this information for clarification purposes only because of a previous case of bacterial meningitis on campus in mid-March 2017.  This current case of viral meningitis is not related to the previous case of bacterial meningitis.  Viral meningitis is the most common type of meningitis; it is an inflammation of the tissue that covers the brain and spinal cord.  It is often less severe than bacterial meningitis, and most people get better on their own (without treatment).  If you have close contact with a person who has viral meningitis, you may become infected with the virus that made that person sick.  However, you are not likely to develop meningitis.  That’s because only a small number of people who get infected with the viruses that cause meningitis will actually develop viral meningitis.

Because other cases of meningitis related to this particular virus are unlikely, the CDC and Forsyth County Health Department do not recommend any particular response to this case of viral meningitis.

Symptoms of viral meningitis include:

Stiff neck
Sensitivity to bright light
Sleepiness or trouble waking up from sleep
Lack of appetite
Lethargy (a lack of energy)
If you develop these symptoms, you should seek care from a physician (preferably in an emergency room) as quickly as possible.

For more information on viral meningitis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) see: