Paramyxoviruses are spread by contamination with infected saliva or respiratory droplets.

Mumps virus, the pathogen of parotitis and orchitis, causes an aseptic meningitis, less often an encephalitis.

Measles virus infections may present in various forms: (a) Aseptic meningitis complicates acute infections. (b) Postinfectious perivenous demyelinating encephalomyelitis, probably immune-mediated, develops 1 to 2 weeks following an acute infection. (c) Subacute measles inclusion body encephalitis is a rare but serious complication of the immunosuppressed state. (d) Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis develops in children and adolescents several years after an early childhood infection.

Parainfluenza virus rarely evokes an encephalitis.

Nipah virus, a newly identified paramyxovirus, is associated with an epidemic of encephalitis with high mortality in southeast Asia. The pathology is characterized by systemic vasculitis of the small vessels, thrombosis, and parenchymal necrosis.

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