Encephalitis – Symptoms, Treatment

Encephalitis is a disease in which the brain gets inflamed, generally caused by a virus attack. It is an extremely rare ailment and mostly children contract this disease. The elderly people and people with weak immunity also fall prey to it. Thousands of cases are reported each year but even then, most cases are not reported because the symptoms are so negligible that the patients do not even realize that they have Encephalitis.


The following are the main symptoms of this disease:

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Lost appetite
  • Malaise
  • Loss of energy

In serious cases, the person will have very high fever and most of the following symptoms.

  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Very severe headache
  • Confusion
  • A stiff neck
  • Changes in personality
  • Disorientation
  • Problems in hearing and speech
  • Seizures
  • Loss of memory
  • Hallucinations
  • Coma
  • Sleepiness all the time

Encephalitis mostly follows common viral diseases. Sometimes they appear along with the symptoms of these regular diseases. But it mostly hits without any warning.


Those people who get a mild case if encephalitis can get treated at home. However, most are not so lucky and have to be admitted to the hospital, even in ICU. Doctors keep them under constant observation and monitor the patients’ rate of respiration, heart rate and blood pressure. The main purpose is to stop the brain from swelling any more. Also, antibiotics are not prescribed as they are ineffective against most kinds of virus.

However, there are a few antiviral medicines which can be administered for treating some types of this disease. Sometimes, corticosteroids are prescribed to make the swelling go down. If a child suffers from seizures, he should be given an anticonvulsant drug. For treatment of headache and fever, unprescribed medicines like paracetamol can be given to the patient.

Most people, who suffer from encephalitis, recover completely. A small percentage of the patients become very serious and suffer permanent damage of the brain. They can have difficulties in learning, amnesia or muscle controlling problem. However, they can be absolutely cured by therapy.