Encephalitis is a disease masked by various symptoms.

A word that is repeated many times and whose meaning is very little understood. Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain that can even be caused by Covid-19.

Knowing the symptoms and causes of encephalitis on World Day means putting yourself for a few hours in the shoes of those living with this neuronal disease, which usually occurs after a viral infection.

What is encephalitis?

Beneath the typical signs of flu (fever or headache, if this causes any symptoms) encephalitis is masked by the appearance of irritation and swelling of the brain, which can affect anyone at some point, child or adult, infant or elderly. point in your life; inflammation, which usually reacts to some kind of infection and in some cases puts the patient’s life at risk.

Although it is true that the exact cause of encephalitis is usually unknown, the consensus of neurological specialists indicates that viral infections are largely responsible for the occurrence of this pathology, followed closely by non-infectious and inflammatory diseases, bacterial infections.

On the other hand, it is known that there are two main types of encephalitis: primary and secondary. This is a condition that first occurs when a virus or other agent attacks the brain, causing an infection that can either be concentrated in one area or spread widely. Experts note that primary infection may occur due to the reactivation of a virus that remained inactive and dormant after a previous illness.

On the other hand, secondary encephalitis, also called post-infectious encephalitis, usually occurs approximately two to three weeks after the initial infection. A variant that occurs due to a defective immune system response that reproduces the infection in other parts of the body. This means that instead of attacking only the cells causing the infection, the immune system becomes confused and attacks healthy brain cells as well.

Viruses that can cause encephalitis include herpes simplex virus, varicella-zoster virus and Epstein-Barr virus, yes, the same one that usually causes infectious mononucleosis.

There are also other enteroviruses that sometimes cause encephalitis, such as poliovirus, rabies virus, and viruses transmitted by mosquitoes and ticks; just like him Coxsackie viruswhich most often degenerates into a shower of flu-like symptoms, that is, eye inflammation and abdominal pain.

What are the consequences and symptoms of encephalitis?

Sensory or movement problems, such as vision or hearing problems, are one of the main causes of encephalitis, along with cramps or muscle or joint pain, not to mention fatigue, confusion or weakness.

Symptoms, sometimes accompanied by other, even more serious symptoms, range from muscle weakness and agitation and/or hallucinations to various speech or hearing problems, as well as sensory loss or localized paralysis in certain parts of the face or other areas of the body. ; experiences loss of consciousness, which can sometimes lead to coma.

These signs are the appearance of fontanelles or bulges in the soft spots of the skull in infants, adding to everything rigidity of the body and constant irritability, as well as nausea, vomiting and poor feeding or resistance to awakening. .

However, both timely diagnosis of encephalitis and appropriate treatment are of great importance for those affected, given that it is a very difficult disease to predict and equally difficult to predict how it will affect each patient.

Therefore, yes, we advise you to seek emergency medical help immediately if you suffer from any of the more serious symptoms associated with this condition, such as fever, severe headache and altered state of consciousness.

How to prevent encephalitis?

Although this neuronal pathology can develop in any person, age, geographic region and a weakened immune system are some of the main factors for encephalitis, in addition to the seasons and animals that wake up depending on the prevailing climate.

Therefore, the best way to prevent this viral disease is to take precautions to avoid exposure to the viruses that cause it to arise. In what sense? Teaching and maintaining good hygiene habits, washing hands with soap after using the toilet and before eating; do not share utensils and get vaccinated in a timely manner, even while traveling.

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