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Encephalitis

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Summary

Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain. Usually the cause is a viral infection, but bacteria can also cause it. It can be mild or severe. Most cases are mild. You may have flu-like symptoms. With a mild case, you may just need rest, plenty of fluids, and a pain reliever.

Severe cases need immediate treatment. Symptoms of severe cases include

  • Severe headache
  • Sudden fever
  • Drowsiness
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Seizures

In babies, additional symptoms may include constant crying, poor feeding, body stiffness, and bulging in the soft spots of the skull.

Severe cases may require a stay in the hospital. Treatments include oral and intravenous (IV) medicines to reduce inflammation and treat infection. Patients with breathing difficulties may need artificial respiration. Some people may need physical, speech, and occupational therapy once the illness is under control.

NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Start Here

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) - Short Summary
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) Also in

Diagnosis and Tests

  • Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) Analysis From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
  • Video (American College of Radiology, Radiological Society of North America) Also in
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (American College of Radiology, Radiological Society of North America) - PDF Also in

Prevention and Risk Factors

  • (Environmental Protection Agency)

Specifics

  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

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  • From the National Institutes of Health Also in

Children

  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in

Teenagers

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