Encephalitis refers to the inflammation of the brain,
which may manifest as a mild illness, or may result in severe dysfunctioning of the brain, causing death or permanent
SYMPTOMS: The onset is usually sudden, with high fever, persistent headache and vomiting.
However, a temporary headache with high fever or a few vomits at the onset
can be associated with any fever, so all children with such
symptoms should not be thought of as having encephalitis. Later,
the child may start having convulsions, develop mental
confusion or become unconscious. Paralysis of the eye muscles, blindness and speech disturbances
may develop. In some mosquito-borne cases of encephalitis, the clinical
features of encephalitis may be associated with severe joint pains
and a bleeding tendency.
TREATMENT: Children with encephalitis need hospitalisation. There is no specific treatment
available. The child is given full support in the hope that he will
come out of it on his own. Those suffering from encephalitis due to
herpes simplex infection may benefit from an expensive drug
PREVENTION: As mosquitoes can carry the disease, adequate steps may be taken to
protect the child from mosquito bites.
11 February, 2013