This page provides general information about this condition; reveal the text by clicking on the green headers. Press releases, results from DWHC investigations as well as other useful documents and relevant literature can be found at the bottom of the page.
Meningitis is the name used to describe an inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. Inflammation can result from an infectious agent such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa but may also be ‘aseptic’ (non-infectious) as a result of auto-immune conditions or side-effects of some medications.
All ages and all animal species can potentially develop meningitis although certain age-groups or social groups may be more likely to develop certain forms of infectious meningitis.
Signs of infection typically include general apathy and malaise, fever and a stiff neck; in severe cases strange behaviour and seizures may develop. In wildlife species, clinical signs are often not observed. The debilitating nature of the condition makes it likely that animals will struggle to feed themselves, may become isolated from their herd or flock and could be more likely to be preyed on or suffer accidents, for example on the road.
Infectious causes of meningitis may spread between individuals but are typically seen as isolated cases.
More information about the symptoms and casues of meningitis in people can be found at the website of the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control.
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