What Is Encephalitis?
- Encephalitis is a rare yet serious disease
- Encephalitis literally means an inflammation of the brain
- Mostly it is caused by viral infections
Many different viruses cause Encephalitis:
- Common Viruses
- Childhood Viruses
Herpes Simplex Virus is the most common cause for Encephalitis. There are many other common viruses that can cause encephalitis. They are:-
- Mumps Virus
- Epstein-Barr virus
Childhood Viruses :
Childhood Viruses that can cause Encephalitis include:
- chicken pox
Encephalitis from these viruses is very rare today since vaccines are available for these viruses.
Arboviruses : Arboviruses are viruses carried by insects.
Symptoms of Encephalitis :
Symptoms may last for two to three weeks, are flu-like, may become progressively worse and continue over time:
Mild symptoms include: Severe Symptoms include:
Risk Factors for Encephalitis:
- Elderly people
- Infants below the age of 1
- People whose immune system is weak
- People who are more exposed to insects carrying the virus.
Tests to diagnosis Encephalitis:
Blood Tests : A blood tests is performed to check for Viral Infections
Lumbar Puncture : sample collected from Spinal Fluid and is checked for infection.
MRI : To check whether there are any changes in the brain structure.
Brain Biopsy : A small samples of the brain tissue to test for infection. It’s usually only done if doctors can’t determine the cause the brain swelling or if treatment isn’t working.
Treatment of Encephalitis:
Treatment is focused to get relief from the symptoms
- Plenty of rest
- Medicines to get relief from Pain
- Corticosteroids to reduce brain inflammation
- Medicines to prevent or stop seizure
- Plenty of fluids
Preventive measures for Encephalitis:
- Lower the risk for encephalitis by getting vaccinated
- Wear long sleeves and pants to prevent from mosquito and tick bites
- Use of mosquito repellant