Encephalitis-Definition -Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Encephalitis literally define as an inflammation of the brain, but it generally belongs to brain inflammation produced by a virus.This severe and potentially life threatening disease is uncommon.

Encephalitis is a viral infection may be caused by a mosquito borne or a tick borne virus.Some parasitic protozoal infestations such as toxoplasma, can also result encephalitis in people with in whole or in part immune systems. Brain damage results as the inflamed brain pushes against the skull, and can cause death.

Encephalitis is seditious diseases of the membranes that enclose the brain and spinal cord and are produced by bacterial or viral infections .Viral meningitis is normally known aseptic meningitis to indicate it is not the result of bacterial infection .Using antibiotic is not the treatment to cure it as it is not effective against viruses.


Encephalitis can be caused by many kinds of germs, the infection can be multiply in number of different ways.One of the most perilous and the most common cause of encephalitis is the herpes simplex virus. It is the same virus that produces cold sores, mumps, measles, and chickenpox, but when it attacks the brain, this results the brain to swell. The combination of infection and immune response cause the typical symptoms of viral encephalitis. The major risk is permanent brain damage .Encephalitis can be a complication of Lyme disease moved by ticks, or of rabies spread by rabid animals.

The illness appears in two ways:

  • Primary stage.
  • Secondary stage.

The primary stage of the disease is more serious, while the secondary stage is more common. But because of the milder nature of secondary encephalitis, doctors generally see more cases of primary encephalitis. Symptoms

Symptoms in milder conditions of encephalitis generally include such as fever, headache, low appetite, saps of energy, sick feeling.

In some more complicated condition of encephalitis, a person is more likely to experience high fever and any of a number of disorders that relate to the central nervous system including such as severe headache, nausea & vomiting, stiff neck, confusion, disorientation, personality changes , seizures, stiff back, problems with speech or hearing, hallucinations, memory loss, drowsiness, paralysis, coma.

It's difficult to detect some of these disorders in infants, but there are still some important symptoms to look for including such as vomiting, fontanel, un appeasing crying that does not stop or that seems worse when an infant is handled in some way or picked up.

There are some of the symptoms of encephalitis include:

  • Acute fever.
  • Headache.
  • Vomiting.
  • Photosensitivity.
  • Impaired judgment.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Weak muscles.
  • Unsteady gait.


It is recommended not to use antibiotics to treat encephalitis because they are not effective against viruses. However, antiviral drugs can be taken to cure some condition of encephalitis, especially the kind caused by the HSV. Corticosteroids may also be taken in some condition to mitigate brain swelling and inflammation.

Unlike bacteria, viruses are complicated to kill. Antiviral treatments only act on some kind of viruses. Treatment aims to ebb the severity of the symptoms and can include such as pain killing drugs, drugs to prevent vomiting, drugs to ebb fever, such as paracetamol, drugs that are anti convulsive, intravenous administration of carbohydrate solutions to help mollify brain swelling, anti dehydration fluids.

Antiviral treatment may be recommended for herpes encephalitis or other dangerous viral infections. Anticonvulsants are taken to avert or cure seizures .Soporific treatments may be needed for irritability or restlessness.