Viral encephalitis is usually an acute infection, caused by a virus, of some or the entire brain. It caused damage to the cells of the brain, leading to swelling. Viral encephalitis may be a primary disorder, such as herpes encephalitis. However, it more commonly occurs as secondary complication following viral disorders such as measles, chickenpox, rubella, vaccinia and other less known viruses. Vaccination for smallpox can be followed by encephalitis.
Causes of Encephalitis, Viral
This infection is the result of Viruses that cause other illnesses such as measles, mumps, chickenpox, infectious mononucleosis, infectious hepatitis, German measles and smallpox. In addition, some viruses that may cause generalized symptoms and viral encephalitis include coxsackievirus and echovirus. Other viruses primarily affect the nervous system, such as polio, herpes, and Eastern and Western equine viruses carried by mosquitoes or other insects. Lead poisoning, vaccine reactions and leukemia can produce encephalitis clinically, but it is not an infectious process.
Signs and Symptoms of Encephalitis, Viral
There may be a progression of symptoms that occurs with encephalitis. Many cases may be mild, particularly when occur in conjunction with a generalized viral disease such as chickenpox. However, some forms and cases of encephalitis may be severe, leading to coma and death. Initially, there is fatigue, weakness and fever and chills and weight loss. Frequent sweating, especially at night, may occur. Vague aches and pains develop. There may be rapid heart rate. As the disorder worsens, symptoms become more ominous. There are high fevers with severe chills. Shortness of breath may occur. Swelling may be noted, particularly involving the feet, legs and abdomen. Rapid and irregular heart beat may occur or worsen.
Find more information
Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
The information contained on this site is for the sole purpose of
being informative. This information is not and should not be used or relied upon as medical
advice. Always seek the advice of your physician, nurse
Or other qualified health care provider before you undergo any treatment or
for answers to any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
If you believe you have a medical emergency, please discontinue use
of MyElectronicMD and call 911 now.
Nothing contained on or provided through the service is intended to be or is
to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.
Your use of this site is subject to certain terms and conditions.