Viral Encephalitis

Japanese Encephalitis Virus

Characteristics

Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain. Encephalitis is unseen by the human eye because it is a virus. The incubation period of this virus can range from several months to several years. There is no indication that someone is a carrier of Encephalitis during the incubation period. Only four cases have been detected in the US. This can be transmitted to humans by the bite of a mosquito.

Symptoms

People that are carriers of the Encephalitis virus experience either no symptoms or mild flu-like symptoms such as fever, aches in muscles, joints, headaches. More serious cases include seizures, double vision, loss of consciousness, loss of sensation, or paralysis in certain areas of the face of body. Signs in young children include bulging in the soft spots of the skull, body stiffness, poor feeding, and irritability.

Treatment

Treatment of mild cases of Encephalitis include bed rest, plenty of fluids, and anti inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen. Severe encephalitis may require breathing assistance, intravenous fluids, anti inflammatory drugs, physical therapy and speech therapy. For prevention, there is a Japanese encephalitis vaccine. Since it is a virus, the virus will not leave the body.

History

In 2012 there were more reports of Encephalitis than any other year within a decade. Most of these cases were found in Texas. The most common cause of encephalitis is the herpes virus.