Encephalitis - Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which doctor should I consult for encephalitis?

Encephalitis can be treated by a neurologist, primary care physicians, critical care specialists or infectious disease specialist, according to the cause and severity of symptoms.

2. Is encephalitis contagious?

The cause of encephalitis, determines its ability to spread from one person to another. If it is caused by a virus or any other pathogen, it can be contagious. Encephalitis due to autoimmunity or chemical toxicity, is not contagious.

3. What is the prognosis of encephalitis?

The prognosis of encephalitis depends on the cause of the disease, the severity of the condition, the age of the patient and the strength of the immune system.

4. Can mosquito bites cause encephalitis?

Vectors like mosquitoes and ticks sometimes carry viruses and bacteria that can cause encephalitis. People who are bitten by infected mosquitoes develop the disease within a few days or up to two weeks after the bite.

5. How does an MRI help in diagnosis of encephalitis?

An MRI uses magnetic field and radio waves to reveal images of the brain. It helps in detecting damage to brain tissue, inflammation, tumor, blood clots or changes related to seizure.

6. What are the risk factors for encephalitis?

Being very young or very old, being in an environment where there is a higher risk of exposure to mosquitoes, not being vaccinated against common childhood infections like measles, mumps and rubella, having a compromised immune system and traveling to areas where viral encephalitis is endemic are a few risk factors for encephalitis.

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