Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain, caused by a viral infection or when the body's own immune system mistakenly attacks the brain tissue. Viral infections are the most common cause of the condition. There are two types of encephalitis – primary & secondary. In primary encephalitis, a virus invades another part of the body and travels to the brain.
Encephalitis generally begins with a fever & headache. The symptoms worsen rapidly there may be seizures (fits), confusion, drowsiness & loss of consciousness.
Encephalitis Risk Factors
*Age (young children & older people)
*Exposure to mosquitoes
*A weakened immune system
*Traveling to areas where viral encephalitis is common
*Not being vaccinated against measles, mumps, and rubella
To prevent viral encephalitis, avoid exposure to viruses that can cause the disease and to mosquitoes and insects carrying :
*Wash your hands thoroughly; frequent hand-washing is the best way to prevent many common viral infections.
*Eat healthy to keep your immune system strong.
*Exercise regularly; it increases the body's natural virus-killing cells.
*Take precautions to reduce the risk of being bitten if you visit areas known to have mosquitoes carrying encephalitis causing viruses.
Wear clothes that cover your anus and legs.
*Avoid going out at dusk, when there are more mosquitoes.
*Close the windows of the house early in the evening. Put wire mesh on windows and doors, use mosquito nets and repellents; ensure there is no stagnant water around the house.
*If you see any infected or dead birds or animals in your locality, report to the municipal authority immediately. They carry viral disease which may be transmitted by mosquitoes to humans.