Meningitis (aseptic) 2002

Table 1. Meningitis (aseptic) Cases by Race and Sex, Indiana, 2002

  2002 1998-2002
Cases Rate* Cases
Total 149 2.42 745
   White 113 2.06 520
   Black 15 2.86 59
   Other 2 1.31 7
   Not Reported 19 - 159
   Male 76 2.51 357
   Female 72 2.30 386
   Not Reported 1 - 2

*Rate per 100,000 population based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s population data as of July 1, 2002

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 2002, there were 149 cases of aseptic meningitis reported in Indiana, for a rate of 2.42 cases per 100,000 population (Table 1). Figure 1 shows reported cases by year for 1998-2002. Incidence was greatest during the summer months (Figure 2). As shown in Figure 3, age-specific rates were greatest for infants under the age of 1 year (30.55), followed by adults aged 20-29 years (3.77), and adults aged 30-39 years (3.30). The rate for blacks (2.86) was slightly higher than for whites (2.06). Nineteen cases (13%) did not report race data.

The incidence rates were highest among the following counties reporting five or more cases: Vanderburgh (9.9), Hendricks (7.0), and Marion (5.2). Figure 4 shows counties reporting five or more cases.

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