Research, Scientific Breakthroughs, & Caregiver Tips
How Is Encephalitis Detected?
Early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of encephalitis are important. Although many cases are relatively mild and may resolve on their own, severe cases of encephalitis–and especially types like herpes simplex encephalitis and eastern equine encephalitis–are likely to cause long-term harm or even death if left untreated and allowed to progress.
Early signs of encephalitis, which often precede the more commonly recognized symptoms, include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Body aches
- Swollen lymph nodes
As encephalitis progresses, other more profound symptoms usually emerge, such as:
- Confusion or disorientation
- Irritability or mood changes
- Numbness or paralysis in limbs
- Unusual sleepiness or fatigue
You should see a doctor immediately if you experience severe symptoms such as high fever, intense headache, or pronounced confusion. Children who exhibit any symptoms should also see a doctor immediately.
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