Encephalitisenteenshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/T-encephalitis-enHD-AR1.gifEncephalitis is an inflammation of the brain. Although encephalitis sounds scary, understanding its causes, symptoms, and treatment can help you feel prepared to deal with it if you ever need to.insephalitus, ensephalitus, ensefalitus, ensefalitis, insefalitis, inflammation of the brain, swelling of the brain, breain swelling, swollen brain, virus, meningitis, infectious, contagious, chicken pox, chickenpox, measles, mumps, mononucleosis, mono, insect bites, herpes simplex virus, west nile virus, ebv, epstein barr, headache, convulsions, seizure, vision problems, hallucinations, immunizations, antiviral drugs, corticosteroids, physical therapy, speech therapy06/09/200002/01/201909/02/2019Marcella A. Escoto, DO01/01/20196f01f58e-e2d4-4a10-a028-af505fed561chttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/encephalitis.html/<h3>What Is Encephalitis?</h3> <p>Encephalitis is an inflammation (swelling and irritation)&nbsp;of the brain. In most cases, a virus causes this inflammation.</p> <p>Encephalitis is also called <strong>acute viral encephalitis</strong> or <strong>aseptic encephalitis</strong>.</p> <h3>Who Gets Encephalitis?</h3> <p>Encephalitis (in-seh-fuh-LYE-tus) is a rare disease. Most cases happen in children, the elderly, and people with a weakened <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/immune.html/">immune system</a> (from HIV/AIDS, cancer, etc.).</p> <p>Several thousand cases of encephalitis are reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) every year. But health experts think that many more cases happen that aren't reported because symptoms vary and can be mild.</p> <h3>What Are the Signs &amp; Symptoms of Encephalitis?</h3> <p>Symptoms in mild cases of encephalitis usually include:</p> <ul> <li>fever</li> <li>headache</li> <li>poor appetite</li> <li>loss of energy</li> <li>a general sick feeling</li> </ul> <p>Serious cases of encephalitis can cause:</p> <ul> <li>a high fever</li> <li>severe headache</li> <li>nausea and vomiting</li> <li>stiff neck</li> <li>confusion</li> <li>personality changes</li> <li>convulsions (seizures)</li> <li>problems with speech or hearing</li> <li>hallucinations</li> <li>memory loss</li> <li>drowsiness</li> <li>coma</li> </ul> <p>Because encephalitis can happen during or after common viral illnesses, symptoms of these illnesses can start before encephalitis happens. But often, it appears without warning.</p> <h3>What Causes Encephalitis?</h3> <p>Three groups of viruses are common causes of encephalitis:</p> <ol class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Herpes viruses, such as chickenpox, EBV (Epstein-Barr virus, which causes mono), and herpes simplex (which causes <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/cold-sores.html/">cold sores</a>).</li> <li>Viruses and other germs transmitted by insects, like <a class="kh_anchor">West Nile virus</a> (spread through a mosquito bite) and the germs that cause <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/lyme-disease.html/">Lyme disease</a> and <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/rocky-mountain.html/">Rocky Mountain spotted fever</a> (spread through tick bites).</li> <li>Viruses that cause once-common childhood infections, such as measles, mumps, and German measles. Thanks to immunizations, it's rare today for someone to develop encephalitis from these illnesses.</li> </ol> <p>Less often, encephalitis can be:</p> <ul> <li>caused by an infection from bacteria , such as bacterial <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/meningitis.html/">meningitis</a></li> <li>a complication of other infectious diseases like <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/std-syphilis.html/">syphilis</a></li> <li>due to a parasite, like toxoplasmosis (found in infected cat feces) in people with weakened immune systems</li> </ul> <h3>Is Encephalitis Contagious?</h3> <p>Brain inflammation itself is <strong>not</strong> contagious. But the viruses that cause encephalitis <strong>can</strong> be. Of course, getting a virus does not mean that someone will develop encephalitis.</p> <h3>How Is Encephalitis Diagnosed?</h3> <p>Doctors use several tests to diagnose encephalitis, including:</p> <ul> <li>imaging tests, such as computed tomography (CT) scans or magnetic resonance imaging (<a class="kh_anchor">MRI</a>), to check the brain for swelling, bleeding, or other problems</li> <li>electroencephalogram (EEG), which records the electrical signals in the brain, to check for unusual brain waves</li> <li>blood tests to look for bacteria or viruses in the blood. These also can show if the body is making antibodies (specific proteins that fight infection) in response to a germ</li> <li>lumbar puncture, or <a class="kh_anchor">spinal tap</a>, which checks cerebrospinal fluid (the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord) for signs of infection</li> </ul> <h3>How Is Encephalitis Treated?</h3> <p>Most people with encephalitis need care in a hospital, usually in an intensive care unit (ICU). Doctors will watch their blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, and body fluids to prevent further swelling of the brain.</p> <h4>Medicines</h4> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Antiviral drugs can treat some forms of encephalitis, such as the type caused by the herpes simplex virus.</li> <li>Corticosteroids may be used to reduce brain swelling.</li> <li>Anticonvulsants might be given to someone having seizures.</li> <li>Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, like acetaminophen, can help with fever and headaches.</li> <li>Antibiotics don't work against viruses, so aren't used to treat most forms of encephalitis.</li> </ul> <p>Many people with encephalitis make a full recovery. In some cases, brain swelling can cause lasting problem like learning disabilities, speech problems, memory loss, or lack of muscle control. Speech therapy, <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/pt.html/">physical therapy</a>, or occupational therapy can help in these cases.</p> <h3>How Long Does Encephalitis Last?</h3> <p>Most of the time, the acute phase of the illness (when symptoms are the most severe) lasts up to a week. Full recovery can take longer, often several weeks or months.</p> <h3>Can Encephalitis Be Prevented?</h3> <p>The best way to prevent encephalitis is to avoid getting infected with the viruses or other germs that can cause it. Regular <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/handwashing.html/">hand washing</a> will help limit the spread of some of these germs. Staying as healthy as possible by eating a balanced diet and getting plenty of rest can help keep your immune system in shape. Immunizations are also an important way to protect people from diseases like chickenpox and measles.</p> <p>In areas where viruses and other germs are transmitted by insect bites, protect yourself by wearing long sleeves and pants and applying an insect repellent. Also, try to avoid unnecessary outdoor activities at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most likely to bite.</p> <h3>When Should I Call the Doctor?</h3> <p>Get medical care right away if you have any of these symptoms:</p> <ul> <li>a severe headache</li> <li>convulsions (seizures)</li> <li>stiff neck</li> <li>can't look at bright lights</li> <li>double vision</li> <li>trouble walking</li> <li>problems with speech or hearing</li> <li>trouble moving an arm or leg</li> <li>loss of sensation anywhere in the body</li> <li>sudden personality changes</li> <li>problems with memory</li> <li>extreme drowsiness</li> <li>loss of consciousness (passing out)</li> </ul>EncefalitisLa encefalitis es una enfermedad muy poco frecuente. La mayoría de los casos se dan en niños, ancianos y otras personas con sistemas inmunitarios debilitados.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/es/teens/encephalitis-esp.html/61cccf24-b547-4524-b26e-638aa9546574
Cold Sores (HSV-1)Cold sores (also known as fever blisters) are pretty common and lots of people get them. So what causes them and what can you do?https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/cold-sores.html/3bcd7810-3383-4472-8848-f40d2ad8fbac
Hand Washing: Why It's So ImportantDid you know that the most important thing you can do to keep from getting sick is to wash your hands? If you don't wash your hands frequently, you can pick up germs from other sources and then infect yourself.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/handwashing.html/83630582-a0c6-4b77-97f9-6b26970fd4af
Lyme DiseaseLyme disease can be treated if it's caught early. Find out what causes it, how it's treated, and how to prevent it.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/lyme-disease.html/a5576757-bf27-42eb-9a7c-d4aae3ad3150
MeningitisYou may be wondering what the deal is with meningitis because you've heard frightening stuff about meningitis outbreaks in the news.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/meningitis.html/810ea9e2-c86a-4d28-a819-e48f10e7de35
Mononucleosis (Mono)It's sometimes called "the kissing disease," but kissing is just one of the ways that someone can catch mono.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/mononucleosis.html/2ce95611-a0cc-4e5c-9306-e916dcebc77c
Rocky Mountain Spotted FeverRocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is a disease caused by a bacteria that is carried by certain types of ticks. Learn about the signs and symptoms of RMSF and tips for preventing infection in this article.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/rocky-mountain.html/d58c1ada-a37c-4a27-a1e8-dbb16646e278
kh:age-teenThirteenToNineteenkh:age-youngAdultEighteenPluskh:clinicalDesignation-infectiousDiseasekh:genre-articlekh:primaryClinicalDesignation-emergencyMedicineBacteria & Viruseshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/infections/bacterial-viral/b7dc4878-3709-426e-b9f5-a4e65c39af05