The brain becomes inflamed as a result of the body's attempt to fight off the virus. Encephalitis occurs in 1 in every 1,000cases of measles. Japanese Encephalitis generally begins with fever and headache. The symptoms rapidly worsen, and there may be seizures (fits), confusion, drowsiness, and loss of consciousness, and even coma.
Encephalitis can be life-threatening, but this is rare. Mortality depends on a number of factors, including the severity of the disease and age. Younger patients tend to recover without many on-going health issues, whereas older patients are at higher risk for complications and mortality. When there is direct viral infection of the brain or spinal cord, it is called primary encephalitis. Secondary encephalitis refers to an infection which started off elsewhere in the body and then spread to the brain.
Different types of encephalitis have different causes.
There is also primary or secondary encephalitis.
Primary or infectious encephalitis can result if a fungus, virus, or bacterium infects the brain.
Secondary, or post-infectious, encephalitis is when the immune system responds to a previous infection and mistakenly attacks the brain. Symptoms.
The patient typically has a fever, headache, and photophobia (excessive sensitivity to light). There may also be general weakness and seizures. Less common symptoms.
The individual may also experience nuchal rigidity (neck stiffness), which can lead to a misdiagnosis of meningitis. There may be stiffness of the limbs, slow movements, and clumsiness. The patient may also be drowsy and have a cough.
In more serious cases, the person may experience very severe headaches, nausea, vomiting, confusion, disorientation, memory loss, speech problems, hearing problems, hallucinations, as well as seizures and possibly coma. In some cases, the patient can become aggressive.
Initially, encephalitis is harder to detect in young children and babies. Parents or guardians should look out for vomiting, a bulging fontanel (the soft area on the top center of the head), incessant crying that does not get better when the baby is picked up and comforted, and body stiffness.
Encephalitis can develop as a result of a direct infection to the brain by a virus, bacterium, or fungus, or when the immune system responds to a previous infection; the immune system mistakenly attacks brain tissue.
Primary (infectious) encephalitis can be split into three main categories of viruses:
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