Encephalitis is a rare but serious inflammation of the brain, typically caused by a viral infection. The inflammation can damage the brain tissue and cause a range of symptoms, including headache, fever, confusion, seizures, and in severe cases, coma and even death.
Encephalitis can be caused by a variety of viruses, including herpes simplex virus (HSV), West Nile virus (WNV), and measles virus. It can also be caused by bacterial or fungal infections, though these are less common.
Encephalitis can affect people of all ages, but it is most commonly seen in children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems. It is often a medical emergency, and prompt treatment is essential to minimize the risk of serious complications.
Treatment for encephalitis typically involves antiviral or antibiotic medications to treat the underlying infection, as well as medications to manage symptoms such as seizures and inflammation. In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary to provide supportive care, such as breathing assistance and intravenous fluids. In some cases, rehabilitation may also be needed to address any lasting neurological symptoms or complications.