February 23, 2017
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Encephalitis and Meningitis

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Encephalitis and meningitis facts

  • Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain.
  • Meningitis is inflammation of the membranes (meninges) that surround the brain and spinal cord.
  • Both encephalitis and meningitis can be caused by bacteria or viruses, and rarely a fungus, or be noninfectious.
  • Headache and fever are the most common symptoms of encephalitis and meningitis. Stiff neck, confusion, or lethargy can also be present.
  • The diagnosis is usually made by performing a lumbar puncture (spinal tap).
  • A CT scan or MRI of the brain can also be helpful but usually is only done in addition to the spinal tap.
  • Treatment depends on identifying the underlying cause. If bacteria are causing the infection, then antibiotics are indicated.
  • Anyone experiencing symptoms of encephalitis or meningitis should see a doctor immediately.
  • Depending on the organism causing the infection, close contacts can also become ill and need to be evaluated by a health-care professional.
  • Basic methods to prevent the spread of infections (hand washing and covering ones mouth when coughing) can also help prevent the spread of some forms of meningitis.
  • Being current on vaccinations will help prevent certain forms of meningitis.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/8/2016

Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/encephalitis_and_meningitis/article.htm

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