Meningitis (aseptic) 2003

Table 1. Meningitis (aseptic) Cases by Race and Sex, Indiana, 2003

  2003 1999-2003
Cases Rate* Cases
Total 198 3.20 937
   White 154 2.80 670
   Black 21 4.00 79
   Other 2 1.30 9
   Not Reported 21 - 179
   Male 96 3.20 452
   Female 101 3.20 482
   Not Reported 1 - 3

*Rate per 100,000 population based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s population data as of July 1, 2003

Meningitis is the inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. Aseptic meningitis is the most common type of meningitis and is caused by different types of viruses. Most cases of aseptic meningitis are caused by enteroviruses that can infect the stomach and small intestine. Aseptic meningitis can be spread through direct contact with nose and throat secretions and transmitted by fecal contamination. Symptoms of meningitis include fever, severe headache, stiff neck, sensitivity to light, and drowsiness or confusion.

In 2003, there were 198 cases of aseptic meningitis reported in Indiana, for a rate of 3.2 cases per 100,000 population (Table 1). Figure 1 shows reported cases by year for
1999-2003. Incidence was greatest during the late summer and fall months (Figure 2). As shown in Figure 3, age-specific rates were greatest for infants under the age of 1 year (28.6), followed by adolescents aged 10-19 years (4.4). The rate for blacks (4.0) was slightly higher than for whites (2.8). Twenty-one cases (11%) did not report race data.

The incidence rates were highest among the following counties reporting five or more cases: Posey (22.3), Vanderburgh (20.4), Henry (16.8), and Dearborn (12.5). Figure 4 shows counties reporting five or more cases.

You can learn more about aseptic meningitis by visiting the following website: