well as a complication of another disease. The strains of this pathogen that are present in North
These viruses infect all ages and sexes equally, however the fatality rate is much higher in infants
and the elderly.
with the virus.
Once contaminated, the person may not notice symptoms for one or two weeks. At the
end of that time he will notice drowsiness, headaches, stupor, abnormal vision, and sleep
paralysis, cardiac or respiratory arrest, and he may go into a coma. Thirty-eight percent of these
severe cases will end in death after two weeks.
When a physician suspects that a patient may have encephalitis, he will first observe the
symptoms. If these symptoms continue to point toward the virus, the doctor will perform a
lumbar puncture, checking the the pressure as the fluid drains. Then he will examine the spinal
virus or do a blood work-up to be sure this is the disease the patient has been infected with.
When this procedure is not correctly followed, the patient can be misdiagnosed as having multiple
sclerosis, polio, or meningitis.
Encephalitis has no cure, but most of the symptoms can be treated. In order to recover
quickly, it is recommended that the patient gets plenty of bed rest and that he stay under medical
supervision for the duration of the illness. Even when he follows these instructions, he may be
There are no vaccines for encephalitis, but with proper precautions it can be prevented.
insect repellent, wearing long sleeves and pants, and fixing window and door screens in the home.
You can also encourage your city government to invest in finding mosquito breeding sites,
population and density. When the city knows these things, they are able to control high
population with larvivorous fish or insecticides.
?Encephalitis.? Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia. 1997
Kunz, Jeffrey and Asher Finkel, editors. ?Encephalitis.?
Baldridge, Iona C. ?Encephalitis.? Health and Illness. 1995
Rinehart, & Winston, 1998
?Human case of eastern equine encephalitis confirmed in southeastern
New Jersey: William Collins Publishers, 1980