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Are there chances of developing meningitis from Epstien Barr ?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 1721 Questions
I was been diagnosed with Epstien Barr 9 days ago. I was suffering from the symptoms for about 2 weeks prior to my getting the blood tests done. I have been recovering, staying well hydrated, taking a regiment of multivitamins, vitamin c, ginseng / royal jelly and eating well.
Yesterday, I began to feel tightness in the right side of my neck, nasal congestion, ear discomfort a headache in my temple on the right side.
This morning the aforementioned symptoms are still present and I am fatigued again as I did not sleep well. I have a moderate case of health anxiety and began reading yesterday about meningitis and how it can sometimes stem from epstein barr.
I chose to utilize this service this morning because for the past 3 days I was feeling better, more energy, little or no pain in the spleen or abdomen, less fatigue however this morning I am more fatigued and have a some neck tension and the headache in the right temple - my temperature was 98.4F or 36.8C. I am an American Citizen living and working abroad in Costa Rica and I am a long way from real medical care - I have a general physician here that aided me with the mono diagnosis but would like some additional advice/feedback.
Here are some questions I would like to have addressed:
A. What are the chances an otherwise 29 year old white male could have developed meningitis from Epstien Barr and when should I get concerned enough to see a physician.
B. Is there a high likelihood that these newer symptoms are related to epstein barr I was originally diagnosed with? Is it common that the symptoms such as fatigue can subside for a few days and later return?
C. Can the nasal congestion lead to the inner ear discomfort and temporal headaches?
D. Do you have any other suggestions, thoughts or concerns based on the above questions and history?

Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.
Posted Fri, 20 Apr 2012 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar 2 hours later
As im sure you know,EBV infection causes symptoms like headche,sore throat,swollen lymph nodes and even fever.You had the infection for at least 2 weeks before your were diagnosed.Technically you should have been on the path to recovery by that time .Lets address your questions first:
1.There is a possibility of contracting meningitis from EBV infection but that is pretty uncommon.It does occur of course,but usually the infection clears in healthy immune systems before the complication can occur.
2.The likelihood of these second group of symptoms can be related to the EBV or not.These symtptoms can be suggestive of a relapse of the EBV infection or it can also indicate associated headache,drowsiness,confusion,photophobia,fever,neck stiffness esp in the morning.
The fatigue that you had has returned again after a few days of improvement and that again is possible due to the EBV infection.This is called chronic fatigue syndrome and can last for a few days to a few weeks.It usually occurs as a complication of viral inllnesses and resolves on its own.
3.Th ear pain,sore throat ,nasal congestion etc however,point towards associated URTI and needs to addressed separately.
4.To summarise the whole problem,let me give you some guidelines.
Right now,dont jump to the conclusion of meningitis.If at all you experience severe headache,photophobia,neck stiffness,drowsiness,high grade fever then you need urgent medical attention.The best way to diagnose meningitis is examination and lumbar puncture.
I think that you need to consider the possibility of an associated respiratory tract infection along with the EBV.I would advise antibiotics and supportive medications.So i suggest you consult the physician for the meds.
The fatigue will come and go and may last upto a few weeks.If the rest of the symptoms improve in the next few days,then be assured the fatigue will resolve on its own in some time.Just eat healthy,hydrate yourself well and try to improve your immune system.
I beleive that a course of antibiotics is necessary at this point so please see your physician.
I hope i could address you queries.
Any follow up queries are always welcome.

Disclaimer: The Expert’s advice is provided for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, as a complete assessment of an individual has not taken place. Please consult your nearest physician before acting on it. The advice is not valid for medico-legal purposes also.
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