Encephalitis is an acute infection and inflammation of the brain itself. This is in contrast to meningitis, which is an inflammation of the layers covering the brain.
Encephalitis is generally a viral illness. Viruses such as those responsible for causing cold sores, mumps, measles, and chickenpox can also cause encephalitis. A certain family of viruses, the Arboviruses are spread by insects such as mosquitoes and ticks. The equine (meaning horse), West Nile, Japanese, La Crosse, and St. Louis encephalitis viruses are all mosquito-borne. Although viruses are the most common source of infection, bacteria, fungi, and parasites can also be responsible.
The illness resembles the flu and usually lasts for 2-3 weeks. It can vary from mild to life-threatening, and even cause death. Most people with a mild case can recover fully. Those with a more severe case can recover although they may have damage to their nervous system. This damage can be permanent.
Source : emedicinehealth.com
Nursing Assessment Encephalitis
Encephalitis can occur at any age
- The main complaint
High heat loss, seizures, decreased consciousness
- History present illness
At first the child fussy, anxiety, vomiting, increased body heat approximately 1-4 days, headaches.
- History advance disease
Previous clients suffering from coughs, colds approximately 1-4 days, had suffered from herpes disease, infectious diseases of the nose, ear and throat.
- Family Health History
The family is suffering from diseases caused by viruses eg Herpes etc.. Bacteria eg Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus, E, Coli, etc..
When was the last given DTP immunization
Because encephalitis can occur post-pertussis immunization.