The knowledge of symptoms will help us identify the deadly disease of encephalitis at an early stage, and thus needful treatment can be started promptly. This increases the chances of better recovery for the patients. Read this article to get some more valuable information regarding encephalitis symptoms.
Encephalitis is a health condition in which inflammation occurs in the brain. As a result, supply of blood flow to the brain gets affected. There are several types of viruses that can cause encephalitis. Herpes simplex virus (HSV), which causes cold sores and genital herpes is mostly responsible for causing encephalitis.
Other viruses like those that cause measles, chickenpox, influenza, and mumps, can also affect the brain and cause encephalitis, but very rarely. A rare but dangerous form of encephalitis known as equine encephalitis is caused by arbovirus. It is carried by mosquitoes and enters the human body through a bite of the infected mosquito. The patient may slip into coma soon after getting the infection.
Symptoms in Adults
The duration of symptoms can last for one to three weeks. Following are the main symptoms that can be seen in the adults who get infected by encephalitis:
This is the most common symptom in adults. The fever can continue throughout the infection or it may occur in recurrent episodes frequently. In some cases, the medicines that are used to bring down the temperature fail to show any desired results after a few hours. In some people, the fever is accompanied by some flu-like symptoms such as muscle pain, fatigue and nausea.
This symptom is more common among those patients who tend to develop meningitis along with encephalitis. The meningitis virus attacks the spinal fluid or other body fluids near the brain area and causes swelling in the brain. The intensity of this kind of headaches is severe and is often extended to the neck and back and making them stiff and painful.
This is the first sign of encephalitis, but is often ignored. Initially, the eyes are hurt when exposed to light. Later on, it may develop into photophobia. This kind of sensitivity towards light when accompanied by seizures, are likely signs that the person has been infected by the encephalitis virus.
As the encephalitis virus badly causes harm to the brain, which often leads to a number of cognitive impairments. It includes confusion, poor responsiveness towards sound, memory loss, etc.
Symptoms in Children
There are lots of similarities in encephalitis symptoms of adults and children. However, there are some additional symptoms that are often noticed among children. They are as follows:
- Lethargy or lack of energy
- Loss of sensation in certain body parts like arms and legs
- Loss of body balance which may make it difficult to walk
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty in speaking and hearing
- Abrupt change in personality
- Blurred vision
The characteristics of encephalitis symptoms are that they come all of a sudden, and turn severe in no time at all. Therefore, the moment any of the signs and symptoms are observed, one must consult a doctor on an emergency basis to prevent further worsening of the situation.