2005 - Meningitis (aseptic)

Table 1. Meningitis (aseptic) Cases by Race and Sex, Indiana, 2005

  2005 2001-2005
Cases Rate* Cases
Total 204 3.25 893
   White 138 2.48 637
   Black 20 3.60 83
   Other 3 1.84 12
   Not Reported 43 - 161
   Male 99 3.21 435
   Female 104 3.30 455
   Not Reported 0 - 3
*Rate per 100,000 population based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s population data as of July 1, 2005

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 2005, there were 204 cases of aseptic meningitis reported in Indiana, for a rate of 3.25 cases per 100,000 population (Table 1). Figure 1 shows reported cases by year for
2001-2005. 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 (22.07), followed by children aged 10-19 years (4.07). The rate for blacks (3.60) was higher than that for whites (2.48) or other races (1.84) for 2005. However, 43 cases (21%) did not report race data.

The incidence rates were highest among the following counties reporting five or more cases: Gibson (26.9), Vanderburgh (12.7), and Lawrence (10.8). Figure 4 shows counties reporting five or more cases.

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