Today is world encephalitis day and in the interest of raising awareness of this devastating condition I'm going to share something a little off topic (your regularly scheduled post will occur tomorrow).
Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain, it is usually caused by a virus or other infection although there can be other causes. It is the outcome that you often see in news reports about sick or dying children of infectious diseases that strike fear into your heart. When it leads to death, the death is sudden and unexpected making it especially devastating for the family. Even when patients 'recover' there are usually residual effects that make it impossible for them to easily resume the life they once had.
Like most things treatments have improved over the years however the best treatment is still prevention. Prevention of many of the conditions that result in encephalitis is now possible so take advantage of what is available to you. Vaccinate, use good hygiene and make use of anti-insecticides if you are troubled by mosquitoes or ticks.

Jmor, F. Emsley, H. Fischer, M. Solomon, T. & Lewthwaite, P. 2008. The Incidence of Acute Encephalitis in Western Industralised and Tropical Countries. Virology Journal. 5: 134.
McGrath, N., Anderson, N., Croxson, M. & Powell, K. 1997. Herpes Simplex Encephalitis Treated with Acyclovir: Diagnosis and Long Term Outcome. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry. 63: 321-327. Online at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2169720/pdf/v063p00321.pdf
The Encephalitis Society: Support, Awareness and Research for Inflammation of the Brain. Online


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