Encephalitis

Encephalitis is a serious condition that occurs when the brain is inflamed and infected and generally it is caused by viruses. A way of developing encephalitis is by getting bite by mosquitoes. In the same time, viruses that are causing cold sores, chickenpox, mumps may also cause encephalitis.

It’s dangerous because the illness may be confused with flu and not treated properly. if the persons with a easy case recover perfectly, the others, not so lucky, can have permanent damage of the nervous system or they can even die .

Te symptoms of encephalitis are flu like. The patient may feel fever, sore throat, fatigue, head ache, visual sensitivity to light, vomiting, irritability. If the case of encephalitis is more serious than new symptoms may appear such as: paralysis, memory loss, seizures, and poor responsiveness. It’s important to consult a doctor as soon as possible because the sooner you treat the disease, the better. Ask a doctor’s opinion especially if you have been traveling in countries where encephalitis is common or if you suspect mosquito bites. Also if you have sores around the lips or in the genital zone you should go for a medical check.

In order to set the diagnosis a bunch of tests can be made. For instance, a magnetic resonance imagining (MRI) is necessary if the patient may have herpes encephalitis. In the same case polymerase chain reaction (PCR) also helps to diagnose.

Also an EEG that shows information about the electrical activity of the brain may discover herpes encephalitis because of its special pattern.

When the virus needs to be isolated a spinal tap can be done.

The treatment of encephalitis excludes antibiotics because it is caused by viruses.

The most common treatment deals with the symptoms. The brain is monitored for swellings, and the patients are constantly hydrated. To control the seizure, anticonvulsants, will be given. In the case of herpes encephalitis that can cause rapid death the treatment is made of acyclovir for 2- 3 weeks or with foscarnet. During the treatment kidneys and liver will be monitored.

Prevention can be done through only one vaccine, the one for Japanese encephalitis. Also is good to were long pants to avoid mosquitoes and to use insect repellant. It is very important to seek treatment for fever and other symptoms that may appear as soon as possible.

If a mother has herpes encephalitis the baby is better to be born through caesarian.

The death rate is very high and the outcome of the illness depends on age, strength of the immune system. For survival treatment is very important.

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