Washington state teen given 8th viral meningitis diagnosis
LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) — A Washington state teenager was hospitalized for the eighth time with viral meningitis and encephalitis.
Elianna Neumann, 17, was diagnosed Tuesday and placed in the in the Oregon Health and Sciences University hospital in Portland, The Daily News reports.
The family has isolated themselves at home for weeks to protect against contracting the coronavirus because the teenager’s immune system is “almost nonexistent,” said Elianna’s mother, Miranda Neumann.
Doctors first diagnosed Elianna with viral meningitis and encephalitis in 2013, when she was 10. Her last diagnosis was in July.
The virus inflames tissue around the brain and spinal cord and can cause neurological damage. Most people with viral meningitis recover within two weeks and only contract the illness once, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The teen’s current hospital visit has been complicated by the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. Only one visitor is allowed, which is difficult for Miranda Neumann, a single mother with three other children.
“I appreciate the precautions for the safety of my child, other patients and caregivers,” Neumann said. “But it definitely makes things difficult.”
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.
Before her daughter became ill again, Miranda Neumann said she wore a mask and gloves and shopped quickly, immediately showering and washing her clothes after returning.
Elianna will take anti-viral medication for 10 to 21 days. Her mother hopes she can leave the hospital when she is stable.
“We’ll do what we always do,” her mother said. “Take it day by day.”