Encephalitis is, basically, inflammation of the brain, most commonly taking place due to viral infections. Some of the main symptoms of this condition are headaches which can be quite strong, seizures, confused thinking and problems with senses and movement. Many times this condition is mistaken for being a common flu. Then, people ignore the symptoms, allowing further complications to take place. Due to these factors, timely diagnosis and treatment are a must.
Symptoms and Signs of Encephalitis
If a virus is behind this health problem, the sufferer may show no signs or suffer from muscle or joint aches, overall feelings of fatigue and weakness, fever and headaches. However, once encephalitis advances and becomes more serious, the symptoms are bound to get worse as well. When this happens, the headaches are bound to become unbearable, accompanied by fevers and consciousness problems as well as confusion and irritability. Mood swings might take place too, along with seizures or paralysis affecting certain parts of one's body.
Additionally, speech, hearing, taste and other senses may become abnormal and the person having encephalitis may lose his/her consciousness or experience hallucinations or double vision.
If infants are suffering from encephalitis, the signs may be somewhat different. They might vomit or feel nauseous and there may be bulging of fontanels. Moreover, their body may be stiff and they might be crying most of the time, especially when someone picks them up. Finally, they might lose their appetite and eat significantly less.
Treatment and Worst Case Scenarios
Once you notice any of the above mentioned symptoms, you are advised to seek medical attention, especially if the signs are severe. If you are suffering from a mild case of encephalitis, there are great chances that you will respond to treatment well and recover in about two weeks.
However, there are certain complications which might take place. People with encephalitis may suffer from respiratory arrest or even fall into a state of coma. In some cases, encephalitis may lead to death. Alternatively, even after treatment, some symptoms may stay present constantly. Some of these are weakness, mood disorders, paralysis, intellectual impairment, lack of coordination etc.
Before you visit your doctor, make sure you have all the necessary information about your condition. Know the exact time of your first symptoms, as well as the medications you were using. Also, report if you have been bitten by a mosquito, tick or any other insect during the last couple of weeks. Make sure you mention any travels you have undergone recently or any flu-like conditions you have experienced prior the appearance of the symptoms. Additionally, do not forget to mention if you have been bitten by or exposed to animals, have had a new sexual partner or any occurrence of unprotected intercourse. All these facts are very important for proper diagnosis of encephalitis. So, make sure you mention them.