On the occasion of World Encephalitis Day, WHO warned that over 20% of people suffering from encephalitis and manage to survive have serious neurological sequelae.
Encephalitis is an uncommon but serious condition in which the brain becomes inflamed (swollen). Whether the inflammation affects the meninges, it is called meningoencephalitis, considered by specialists as a medical emergency. Even though its clinical signs change, fever, headache and sudden drowsiness symptoms are very common.
Disorientation, language disorders or seizures are also frequent.
It is estimated that, at present, a precise causal diagnosis is not obtained in over 40% of cases, since encephalitis is produced for different reasons: infectious due to the attack of a virus, bacterium or fungus, due to a toxic agent or autoimmune type, and sometimes associated with tumors and/or proteins that attack neurons.
WHO specialists indicated that these different causes should be taken into account in all patients, since treatment depends on variety and should be initiated on many occasions before all lab results are available.
Thanks to vaccination programs and to the increasing hygiene and public health measures, the number of encephalitis of infectious cause is in marked decline, according to WHO statistics.