Encephalitis, the name is itself a spooky cause of shivering brain and a matter of unease to those dominated by some virus. Encephalitis is a rare but fatal malady of the central nervous system with a high mortality rate. What’s more, adds to the complication is Herpes Simplex Virus affecting the neurological system through trigeminal or olfactory nerves, manifesting Herpes Encephalitis (Herpetic Meningoencephalitis). In most of the instances, the neuronal transmission of the Herpes Virus occurs through peripheral sights.
Social welfare is our motto, and we are not intended to startle you, we want you to be cautious and safe from the impending nightmare, and the complications may take over your brain.
Herpetic Meningoencephalitis is a predator of your brain, though, it is rare but not impossible.
Today in this chapter of “Herpetic Encephalitis,” we will be exploring the depths of Encephalitis, the various kinds of the virus affecting the central nervous system, human herpesvirus encephalitis symptoms, about herpetic encephalitis and more.
Let’s get straight into the chapter and travel through the clouds of uncertainties.
Encephalitis and Herpes Encephalitis- What’s the Difference?
In general term, Encephalitis is the inflammation of the brain due to hosts of factors. The reason could vary from bacterial infection to viral infection. There are several kinds of bacteria as well as immortal viruses indulged in the cause of Encephalitis. Viral Encephalitis infection is as an emergency, and one should see the GP as soon as to the very onset of Symptoms.
Initially, at the onset of the infection, symptoms may be so mild and barely noticed, but as the infection steps to take over your brain, the unceasing string of complications is ready to perturb you.
The cause of the infection is the only difference between Encephalitis and Herpetic Encephalitis. There are various viral responsible for Encephalitis in the human body, so is the Herpes Virus.
Because Herpes Virus is responsible for the hideous infection, the infection Herpes Encephalitis came into existence.
Viruses Accountable for Herpes Encephalitis
- Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and 2
- Varicella Zoster Virus ( It also causes shingles and Chickenpox)
- Tick-borne Virus
- And even those virus spread by animals such as Japanese Encephalitis, Rabies and possibly Zika Virus.
Herpes Simplex Virus 1 accounts for almost 90% of Encephalitis cases and only 10 % of people with herpes simplex virus two diagnosed with encephalitis. HSV 1 is the prominent virus which dictates your brain. It is one of the most notable for causing encephalitis in human beings.
The relation between Herpes Zoster Ophthalmicus and Herpes Encephalitis
Herpes Zoster Ophthalmicus is a herpetic condition which usually affects the anterior and posterior structure of the eyes. We have a dedicated article for Herpes Zoster Ophthalmicus, and you can go and read that article on priority to understand this section of the article.
You can go to “5 Harsh Realities About Herpes Zoster Ophthalmicus” to grasp the understanding about Varicella Zoster Virus, which also causes Herpetic Meningoencephalitis.
Several studies about the connection between Varicella Zoster Virus and Herpes Encephalitis have undergone, most of them are putting the weight on VZV virus to be responsible. As we have already enlightened the shady picture of Herpes Zoster Ophthalmicus, we would love to put tension on the connection between these two.
Herpes Zoster Encephalitis might be the result of varicella-zoster virus altercation to your brain. The virus may travel through trigeminal cells to way deep in your central nervous system, onsetting viral encephalitis.
The neurons travel across the nervous system transporting the essential piece of information. Varicella Zoster Virus may hinder the path of those neurons and may eventually result in miscommunication between your brain and other parts of your body. This condition is way more frightening than you may ever imagine.
What Study has to reveal about Varicella Zoster Virus and Herpes Encephalitis?
A recent study concluded in Finland with 3000 patients who had an infection of viral encephalitis demonstrated surprising numbers. The mode of testing was PCR Test, a test which tells whether or not the antibodies available in the body in the response of the virus. 29% of patients dictated by herpesvirus three, also known as Varicella Zoster Virus. Well, it is a significant number and considered as the leading cause of herpes encephalitis along with herpes simplex virus.
Herpes viruses make home to human anatomy, where they find favorable conditions to replicate their DNA. They are also readily eager to spread between individuals pushing their offsprings to deteriorate the state of humanity further.
An Advanced grade of Encephalitis- Autoimmune Encephalitis
Our immune system is known to protect us from invading foreign pathogens and assist our body to fight virus, bacteria, and fungus. If our body has invaded, Our immune system signals the protective layers of the body to look through those invasive pathogens and annihilate them.
This is the way our immune system designed to function but does it functions the way it should?
Not really. Sometimes immune system starts functioning to destroy its host. Occasionally something goes wrong due to the misunderstanding of the immune system. In the case of autoimmune Encephalitis, the immune system starts invading healthy cells of the brain.
This situation may guide several health complications to your brain, and with nothing going in your favor, your body may end up receiving the nightmare of Encephalitis. Below we have enlisted some of the triggering cause of autoimmune encephalitis:
- Malignant or benign growth of cells in the body
- A previous infection in some other part of the body
- An unknown cause
Herpes Encephalitis Symptoms
Encephalitis symptoms may include: These symptoms are mild, but you may have to consult your GP.
Loss of Appetite
Reduced sensation to touch
If in case, any of the enumerated symptoms are visible, the best practice would be to see your doctor ASAP; Hospitalization could be life-saving.
Problem in coordination
Loss of Sensation
Loss of Vision
Difficulties in communicating by speech
The dangers are enormous if ignored any of the above symptoms, which eventually lead you to the graveyard. Sorry to use those words but the truth we can’t deny. It would be better for you to be vigilant of these symptoms if you are already diagnosed with Herpetic Encephalitis. Any manifestation of prodrome of any of the severe encephalitis symptoms should be followed by a quick visit to the hospital.
Risk Factor Associated with Herpes Encephalitis
No one is safe from the ever-changing environment and so the resurgence of deadly viruses. We are witnessing new species of fatal viruses each year. Anyone can get Herpetic Meningoencephalitis through herpesvirus, but there are some risk factors which needs to be addressed to perceive better the degree of danger you are in. Here are some risk factors associated with the infection.
Your age is something you can’t do much about. The time doesn’t stop for anyone, and neither is your age. As you age, your immune system and body start responding to the quick-death cells, and your immune system starts weakening, making you vulnerable to several ails.
As your immune system is not that potential enough, the virus and bacteria find it in their favor and a small vulnerability get the job done for those notorious agents. Some type of encephalitis is more common in adults older than 55 or 60 plus.
Not only the old but the children are also at high risk of developing this kind of infection given to the fact that their immune system is in developing stage and are not potential enough to confront omnipotent viruses.
There are innumerable common health complications such as Hyperglycemia (Diabetes), hypertension (High Blood Pressure), Thyroid, and many more affect your immune system. HIV/AIDS and other STDs are even more frightening deal to suppress the functionality of the immune system. These kind of immunocompromised people are more prone to Herpes Encephalitis.
Whether your body will be the host of encephalitis or not is determined by your geographical locations. Yes, it is true.
For instance, if you are living in the Asia Pacific region, you are most likely to get Japanese Encephalitis. The tick-borne virus is also location dependent, and if you are living in the United States, the chances are that tick-borne may predate you.
Preventive Measures and Dead Set Against Herpes Encephalitis
“Prevention is better than cure” the proverb is rational thinking reflecting the meaning to be vigilant for health risks and complications. If you practice a preventive course of action up against the diseases spreading throughout the world, you are most likely to be safe from that lifelong uneasiness. Let’s dig into the explicative words about the preventive practices that you can opt to be safe from Herpetic Encephalitis.
Did you ever wonder why newborns are recommended to get certain vaccinations? A newborn baby is highly vulnerable to certain diseases and to prevent those certainties, babies get vaccinated. Vaccinations are a great practice of prevention against potential health risks. Vaccination provides a long term and even lifelong protection against some diseases.
Herpes Cure Care is advising you to talk to your GP and ask about updated vaccines. It will help you prevent certain complications. If you are up to board for an infection prone country, vaccination would be a great deal to have before you leave for your destination.
Keep Hygiene in the Business
Maintaining optimal health could be a daunting task in this rapidly changing environment favorable for diseases. Here your hygiene may play hero for you, which may protect you from hosts of lifelong ailments.
You never know your vicinity might be contagious, and neither is your home. The air, water, food, and other necessities may be infected with dangerous creatures.
Hygiene is the best solution to neutralize any chances of infection. Don’t forget to clean your hands before eating anything. Use good quality antigerm soaps and hand wash liquids to eliminate germs. Cook food with intensive management of hygiene tries not to eat half or semi-baked foods as it may contain deadly pathogens.
If you think the man next to you is susceptible to some infection, the better for you to not share edibles, beverages, and even utensils. If you do so, you are axing your own feet. The saliva may contain innumerable deadly viruses.
A Guide to Herpes Encephalitis Diagnosis
There are many diseases which may mimic the Herpetic encephalitis. So the symptoms alone are not an effective way to differentiate between conditions.
To get a clear set of indications, various clinical tests are performed to pitch the right diagnosis. Before going for the main game of the diagnosis process, a thorough neurological, as well as a general examination of the body, should be done to determine the exact cause of symptoms.
The medical history of the patient can’t be overseen as the patient might be on immunosuppressant medications. The GP should also ask the patient about the remote or domestic visits to a destination prone to infections.
Below we have compiled a list of diagnosis which can be performed to perceive the health complications better.
Complete Blood Count (CBC)
A complete blood count is a test of your blood helps in detecting several kinds of diseases disorders and infection of the body. This test may help in determining the virus that your immune system is fighting with.
Physicians order a blood culture test in pursuit of bacteria or germs present in the bloodstream, which is causing infection. Blood Culture is a great way to find pathogens in the blood.
HIV can also be the reason of autoimmune encephalitis because it causes a great deal of infection in the body. Your immune system may mistakenly attack your brain in the presence of HIV infection, so having an HIV test may clear the dark shades over diagnosis.
Lumbar Puncture Test
Lumbar Puncture, also known as the spinal tab, is a test of your cerebrospinal fluid present in your vertebrae. Cerebrospinal is the same fluid which surrounds your brain and spinal cord.
In the process of Lumbar Puncture test, a needle is penetrated between two lumbar bones to extract cerebrospinal fluid. Any chemical or a general change in the fluid may be a precise pointing that there is something wrong with the brain and possibly the infection of Herpetic encephalitis.
In acute Encephalitis, the delay in the administration of empiric antimicrobials may cause fatal issues in the patients.
Polymerase Chain Reaction Test
Polymerase Chain Reaction Test or PCR test is a test of oozing fluids from sores. Taking the samples of your infected cells and sending it to clinical trials for the detection of Herpes Virus in your body is also a way to diagnose Herpes Encephalitis.
Varicella Zoster Virus PCR test is also in the list for better understanding of the disease.
Imaging of the brain
Computer Tomography Scan is an abbreviation of CT Scan. This may help to look for any swelling or inflammation in or around the brain tissues. It is worth noticing that the CT Scan is not a practical methodology for the evaluation of herpes or any Encephalitis. For those who are at risk of edema, CT Scan may come in handy if the rapid evolution of Encephalitis casting the corridor of uncertainties.
Abnormal detection has been found in 25 to 80 percent of people soon after admission in the hospital, but the clear picture remains uncertain when CT Scan has been performed.
At the other flip of the coin, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is one of the most prominent ways to detect any swelling of the brains with nearly 100 percent accuracy. In the evaluation of encephalitis, MRI is a key player and a most recommended imaging method when it comes to determining the cause of encephalitis.
Electroencephalogram is a test of your brain’s electrical activity to determine whether the analysis finds any abnormal electrical patterns in the brain. The Electrodes glued to the tip of your scalp, which records the brain activity. Abnormal activities of the brain may suggest the diagnosis of Herpetic Encephalitis.
Treatment of Herpes Encephalitis
The treatment of Herpetic Encephalitis is wholly dependant on the severity of your condition. If the infection is mild, one can do the following practices to help ease the symptoms.
Mild Condition Treatment
When you are mild herpetic symptoms, anti-inflammatory drugs may help alleviate the inflammation of the brain and may help you recover ASAP. Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, and Naproxen Sodium, which help in easing the inflammation of the brain and fever can be administered.
Adequate rest may give your body time to recover from the illness. Mild encephalitis needs time to recover if you are not at a particular medication, and resting may help you improve forthwith.
Adequate Supply of fluids
When recovering from any illness, the level of fluid in your body is one of the required prerequisites. Drinking plenty of hygienic fluids may speed up the healing process.
Severe Condition Treatment
Severe Encephalitis condition often needs hospitalization. Encephalitis caused by a virus such as a herpesvirus can be life-threatening, and one needs meticulous attention of the medical professional. Below are some options that your GP may exercise on you to help you with Herpes Encephalitis.
Antiviral drugs are common practicing area in scientists community to heal Encephalitis. If you are herpetic patient, the doctors may recommend Acyclovir, Valacyclovir, Zovirax, Ganciclovir, and other similar medications. Your doctor may ask for immediate treatment with acyclovir in case of a mysterious virus. Acyclovir can be useful in HSV infection, which if left untreated, may cause life-threatening health complications.
In the case of Hospitalization
As we discussed earlier, severe encephalitis cases often need hospitalization. Therefore, a patient may need breathing assistance. Monitoring heart function is also imperative.
Dehydration may need attentions, and the patient should take plenty of water, which may help in establishing essential minerals in the body.
The administration of Anti-viral medication can be the boon for the patient.
Viral Encephalitis is a brain targeting disease which needs special care to rule out any life-threatening complications.
We have tried to explain every possible aspect from preventive measures to treatment and so the diagnosis options so that when you go to the doctor, you would have the pre-knowledge about how the procedure is done in the primary care units and hospitals.
The dangers of being careless about Herpetic encephalitis are enormous, and you don’t want to be unacquainted from the symptoms manifested in your body.
Acyclovir and other herpetic management antivirals are primary drugs in the management of Herpetic Encephalitis.
We have also discussed the treatment methods above that will apprise you to the treatment options.
Herpes Cure Care urge you to not to follow any of the above options, whether it is treatment or diagnosis. Your GP is the perfect practitioner, and you should be under surveillance of a registered medical practitioner.