Can novel Coronavirus cause meningitis? Japan has the answer

A Japanese man in his 20s from Yamanashi prefecture, tested positive for Covid-19 on Saturday, is reported unconscious with fever, pneumonia and meningitis

In Japan, a rare case has emerged in which a man infected with Covid-19 has triggered meningitis. Doctors at a hospital in Japan's Yamanashi prefecture said that the new coronavirus is likely to have caused meningitis in a male patient in his 20s, Japan's NHK reported. The man had developed a fever on February 27 and went to several medical facilities on February 28 and March 2, but wasn't tested for coronavirus.

On Friday, March 6, he was found unconscious in his home and was later admitted to a hospital, where he was tested positive for coronavirus. Presently, he's in the intensive care unit and has developed fever, pneumonia and meningitis. Doctors said that it's extremely rare for the new coronavirus to trigger meningitis.

What is meningitis?

Image for representational purpose Xinhua/IANS

Meningitis refers to inflammation of meninges, the three outer membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. This occurs when fluid surrounding the meninges becomes infected. It's most commonly caused by a viral and bacterial infection.

Meningitis caused by viral or bacterial infections can be contagious and can be transmitted via cough, sneeze or close contact. Its symptoms include fever, headache, stiff neck, seizures, lethargy, sleepiness, among others. One disturbing symptom of bacterial meningitis is widespread skin rashes.

Meningitis can result in hearing and vision loss, memory issues, arthritis, migraine headaches, among others. A serious form of the disease can be fatal, can lead to gangrene, resulting in amputation, in many cases.

Coronavirus in Japan

According to NHK, as on Sunday, March 8, 1,159 have contracted Covid-19, including 696 onboard the Diamond Princess Cruise ship, docked at Yokohama Port, near capital Tokyo. Eleven health ministry and quarantine officials have also been confirmed to be infected. Among those infected, 61 are in serious condition, while 14 people have died, including seven on the cruise ship.

Related topics : Coronavirus