Encephalitis: Causes, Signs, Symptoms And Treatment
Brain fever or encephalitis is a condition that causes inflammation of brain tissue.
Viral infections are the common causes of encephalitis; however it can also occur due to bacterial or fungal infections.
Brain fever is of two types; primary and secondary. Primary encephalitis is when the virus directly infects the brain and spinal cord. Secondary encephalitis is when the infection appears somewhere else in the body and moves to the brain. Although encephalitis is rare, it is serious and can be fatal.
Encephalitis is categorized into three groups as a common virus, childhood virus, and arbovirus. Common virus encephalitis moves through nerves to the skin causing cold sores. In rare cases, it may also move to the brain. It affects the temporal and frontal lobe and can affect severe damage to the brain.
Childhood virus causing encephalitis is rare these days. Arbovirus is carried by insects and transmission depends on the type of insect that bites. Older adults, younger children, and individuals with low immunity are prone to developing encephalitis.
The symptoms can vary from mild to severe.
- Mild encephalitis has a fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, and stiffness in the neck.
- Severe encephalitis has a high fever of 103ºF or more, confusion, drowsiness, hallucinations, seizures, unconsciousness, light sensitivity, bad temper, lethargy, and sometimes even comma.
- In infants and children, the signs may include repetitive crying, bulging fontanel, poor appetite, and vomiting.
Antiviral medications are useful in treating harpers encephalitis. But they remain ineffective on other types. Rests, painkillers, corticosteroids, sedatives, fluids are the treatment options to relieve the symptoms.