Story Time

Brad Pitt diagnosed with viral meningitis

No wonder Brad Pitt was ill enough to go to the hospital. He has viral meningitis, it turns out.

According to Pitt’s spokesperson, Cindy Guagenti, he was taken to the hospital on Monday night and is being treated for flu-like symptoms.

The actor is now healing and is at home and doing well, according to an Associated Press news story.

Pitt, 41, was admitted at Cedars Sinai Medical Center after returning from a vacation to East Africa.

He was in Ethiopia with Angelina Jolie last week. He’d accompanied her to the hospital to pick up the newborn girl she’d adopted. Pitt’s spokesperson declined to comment on whether he contracted viral meningitis during that trip.

Meningitis is a viral infection that causes inflammation of the tissues that surround the brain and spinal cord. It is normally considered dangerous, although in individuals with healthy immune systems, it is seldom deadly.

Enteroviruses, the most prevalent cause of viral meningitis, are disseminated most often by direct contact with an infected person’s respiratory secretions (e.g., saliva, sputum, or nasal mucus), according to the CDC. Shaking hands with an infected individual or touching anything they’ve touched, then rubbing your own nose or mouth, is how it normally happens. The virus can also be discovered in the feces of infected people. This pathway is used to spread the virus mostly among young children who have not yet learned to use the bathroom. It can also be transferred this way by people changing an infected infant’s diapers. From the moment you are infected until you show symptoms, the incubation period for enteroviruses is generally between 3 and 7 days. From approximately 3 days after you are infected until about 10 days after you exhibit symptoms, you may normally transfer the virus to someone else.

Pitt, who recently performed at the Live 8 event in Hyde Park, has been hard at work on his latest film, Babel, which is set in Morocco and co-stars Cate Blanchett.