Encephalitis – Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

Medically Reviewed by Dr. K on 18 March 2021

Diagnosis

To diagnose encephalitis, the doctor will look at your symptoms and learn about any new infections or potential infection exposure, such as being around sick people or mosquitoes or ticks.

A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, a spinal tap, or an electroencephalogram can be ordered by the doctor (EEG).

Blood tests to detect the existence of bacteria or viruses, as well as immune cells formed in reaction to them, can be helpful.

In situations where symptoms are deteriorating and treatments aren’t effective, an examination of a brain tissue sample (biopsy) could be required to confirm the diagnosis. It’s crucial to figure out what kind of encephalitis you have so you can get the right medication.

What Are the Treatments for Encephalitis?

Encephalitis necessitates hospitalization due to the severity of the symptoms. Management can be decided in part by your age and overall health, as well as the nature and origin of the illness. If encephalitis is triggered by a bacterial infection, intravenous antibiotics can be used to treat it. Supportive treatment, as well as intravenous antiviral treatment with acyclovir, was used to treat herpes-related encephalitis. Other therapies include lowering the fever, hydrating the patient, treating seizures if they occur, and reducing any pain in the skull.

Most people heal from encephalitis with adequate treatment. Children and the elderly are most likely to suffer an irreversible brain injury.

How Can I Prevent Encephalitis?

Some types of encephalitis have also shown significant progress in terms of prevention.

Smallpox has been eradicated, and vaccinations against mumps, measles, and rubella have decreased the prevalence of encephalitis, particularly in children.

People who fly to high-risk places are also offered vaccines.

Some strategies to prevent it include avoiding infections that may trigger it (such as herpes) and protecting yourself from mosquito and tick bites.

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