Most people with viral encephalitis have either no symptoms or mild flu-like symptoms, such as the following: Headache, Fever, Aches in muscles or joints, Fatigue or weakness. Additional signs and symptoms of more serious encephalitis may include the following: Confusion, agitation or hallucinations, Seizures, Loss of sensation or paralysis in certain areas of the face or body, Muscle weakness, Double vision, Perception of foul smells, such as burned meat or rotten eggs, Problems with speech or hearing, Loss of consciousness etc.
Encephalitis is an acute inflammatory process that primarily involves the brain. The meninges are frequently involved (meningoencephalitis). Although bacterial, fungal, and autoimmune disorders can produce encephalitis, most cases are viral in origin. EEE is characterized by diffuse central nervous system (CNS) involvement. A large number of immunologically active cells enter the brain parenchyma and perivascular areas and mediate much of the damage. Infiltrating neutrophils and macrophages cause neuronal destruction, neuronophagia, focal necrosis, and spotty demyelination. Vascular inflammation with endothelial proliferation, small vessel thrombosis, and perivascular cuffing may also develop. Severe cases of encephalitis, while relatively rare, can be life-threatening. Because the course of any single case of encephalitis can be unpredictable, it's important to get a timely diagnosis and treatment.
Treatment for mild cases, which may be mistaken as the flu, mainly consists of: Bed rest, Plenty of fluids, Anti-inflammatory drugs; such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve, others)-to relieve headaches and fever. Anti-viral drugs like acyclovir, ganciclovir, foscarnet are also used in treating the disease. EEE is a summertime disease and most commonly affects people younger than 15 years and older than 55 years. The exact reason for this pattern is not known, but the preference for extremes of age is a characteristic common to many species of the alphavirus family. Patient age does not affect prognosis, but permanent neurologic impairment and death are more common in children. No sexual or racial predilection exists for EEE.