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Welcome, medical contents search April 29, 2013
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more about Encephalitis

  • This is a condition in which the brain tissue itself becomes infected and inflamed.  Viruses are the most common cause.  They are often transmitted by mosquito bite.

  • Symptoms may occur suddenly or over many weeks.
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Double vision
  • Facial droop
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Stiff (spastic) paralysis
  • Stupor
  • Coma
  • Seizures

  • Arboviruses -- e.g., St. Louis encephalitis, Eastern equine encephalitis and Western equine encephalitis
  • Herpes virus
  • Mumps
  • Poliovirus
  • Measles
  • Chicken Pox virus
  • Toxins/drugs
  • Reye's Syndrome
  • Mononucleosis(infectious mononucleosis)
  • Japanese B encephalitis
  • HIV
  • Bacteria: Tuberculosis, Lyme disease, Cat-scratch disease
  • Fungal and parasitic infections

  • Cerebral spinal fluid may show increased protein count and increased lymphocyte count
  • Blood tests (serology) may show evidence of the particular virus that is causing encephalitis (in viral-caused encephalitis).
  • CT scans and MRI scans may show herpes virus in the temporal lobe, or other causes such as toxoplasmosis.

  • Intensive care is necessary for such a life-threatening condition
  • If caused by herpes virus -- Acyclovir intravenously
  • Rabies vaccination series
  • Most of the other viruses -- no specific treatment
  • Mannitol may be needed to decrease intracranial pressure
  • Treatment of Seizures if they occur
  • Maintain airway (breathing)

  • Mosquito control -- insecticides sprayed by government agencies, mosquito repellents, protective clothing
  • Proper childhood vaccinations
  • Japanese B encephalitis vaccine available for travelers (especially high risk, children, and adults over 65 years old)

  • Viral Meningitis
  • Cancer in the spinal fluid
  • Polio
  • Stroke -- severe
  • Brain Tumors
  • Brain abscess
  • Alcohol intoxication
  • Drug intoxication

more about Encephalitis

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