Preparing for your appointment

Serious illness associated with encephalitis is usually severe and relatively sudden, so seek emergency care. The emergency care team will likely include specialists in infectious diseases and in the brain and nervous system (neurologist).

Questions from your doctor

You may need to answer these questions, or answer them on behalf of your child or another person with severe illness:

  • When did the symptoms begin?
  • Have you recently started taking any new medications? If so, what is the medication?
  • Have you been bitten by a mosquito or tick during the past few weeks?
  • Have you traveled recently? Where?
  • Have you recently had a cold, flu or other illness?
  • Are you up to date on your immunizations? When was your last one?
  • Have you had any exposure to wild animals or known toxins recently?
  • Have you had unprotected sex with a new or long-term sexual partner?
  • Do you have a condition or take any medications that result in a weakened immune system?
June 13, 2017
References
  1. Bennett JE, et al. Encephalitis. In: Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 24, 2017.
  2. Hardarson HS. Acute viral encephalitis in children: Clinical manifestations and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 31, 2017.
  3. Ferri FF. Encephalitis, acute viral. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2017. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2017. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 24, 2017.
  4. AskMayoExpert. Viral encephalitis. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
  5. Gluckman SJ. Viral encephalitis in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 24, 2017.
  6. Meningitis and encephalitis fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Meningitis-and-Encephalitis-Fact-Sheet. Accessed Feb. 1, 2017.
  7. Dorsett M, et al. Diagnosis and treatment of central nervous system infections in the emergency department. Emergency Medical Clinics of North America. 2016;34:917.
  8. Patel H, et al. Long-term sequelae of West Nile virus-related illness: A systematic review. The Lancet Infections Diseases. 2015;15:951.
  9. Hardarson HS. Acute viral encephalitis in children: Treatment and prevention. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 31, 2017.
  10. Daroff RB, et al. Viral encephalitis and meningitis. In: Bradley's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2016. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Feb. 1, 2017.
  11. Zachary KC. Acyclovir: An overview. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 1, 2017.
  12. Breisch N. Prevention of arthropod and insect bites: Repellents and other measures. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 31, 2017.
  13. West Nile virus FAQ: Insect repellant use and safety. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/faq/repellent.html. Accessed Feb. 1, 2017.
  14. West Nile virus: Prevention & control. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/prevention/index.html. Accessed Feb. 1, 2017.
  15. Riggin EA. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 24, 2017.
  16. Howe CL, et al. Neuroprotection mediated by inhibition of calpain during acute viral encephalitis. Scientific Reports. 2016;6:28699.
  17. Singh TD, et al. Predictors of outcome in HSV encephalitis. Journal of Neurology. 2016;263:277.
  18. Wormser GP, et al. Update and commentary on four emerging tick-borne infections. Infectious Disease Clinics of North America. 2015;29:371.