Brain of deceased meningitis victim.
Encephalitis and Meningitis are very serious illnesses that unfortunately have similar symptoms. Often the symptoms of are so mild they may be ignored and the condition never diagnosed. But as early treatment can prevent serious complications, it is t important to seek medical attention if any of the most significant symptoms begin to develop.
The symptoms for both encephalitis and meningitis should be watched for especially, after a viral illness or a mosquito bite.
Symptoms of milder encephalitis may include any or all of the following:
1. fever, nausea, and vomiting,
2. a stiff neck, and
3. drowsiness or lack of energy
A more serious infection will have any or all of the following symptoms:
1. distortion of vision,
2. a change in normal behavior, or personality,
4. muscle weakness,
6. a loss of consciousness,
7. body tremors.
8. rash, and
9. memory problems.
Bear in mind that some of these symptoms may have other apparent causes, but if there are none, seek medial attention immediately. Fortunately the most deadly form of encephalitis is rare, but it does not pay to take chances as immediate treatment can prevent further damage, whereas neglect can cause more serious symptoms that could last a lifetime.
Encephalitis is a viral infection of the brain and spinal cord causing inflammation. The viral infection may enter the brain directly or start in another part of the body and then enter the brain. Common viral infections that may cause encephalitis are herpes, measles, mumps, and German measles. Other such viruses may be carried by mosquitoes, birds, and horses.
As with most conditions and illnesses, those most vulnerable include the very young, the frail and elderly, and those with compromised immune systems.
Meningitis is an inflammation of membranes around the brain and spinal cord. It may also be minor or may be life- threatening. It is most often caused by a viral infection but may also be caused by bacterial infections.
The symptoms of meningitis are quite similar to those of encephalitis though meningitis may also cause a sensitivity to light, severe unremitting headache, and a lack of desire to both eat and drink, even if not nauseated or vomiting.
Viral meningitis often clears on on its own, but bacterial meningitis needs immediate medical attention to avoid severe complications.
There are some vaccines to protect one from meningitis but, so far, none have been developed to protect from encephalitis.
To protect yourself from meningitis, live a healthy lifestyle, practice good hygiene, wash your hands before handling food, and get regular medical care.
To protect yourself from encephalitis, avoid areas of infection, wear long sleeves and pants when around mosquito-infested areas, practice mosquito-prevention around your home, keep yourself and your family up-to-date with immunizations for viral infections such as measles, mumps, and chicken pox, and take care of your general health. If you see sick or dying birds, keep away and report them to your health department.
Medical care for either of these conditions can prevent further complications, and possibly save your life.