Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES), aseptic encephalitis, or virus encephalitis, is a neurological disorder that impacts the functioning of not only our brain but our limbic system too. It is caused by a particular strain of a virus. Around the world, it is also referred to as brain fever as it causes inflammation inside the brain. It is a commonly found condition, and it mainly affects aging people, children, and those with a compromised immune system.
AES can be caused by over 100 viruses that we know of. Some of those include chickenpox, measles, rubella, mumps, rabies, and polio. In addition to viruses, AES can also be caused by bacteria, parasites, fungi, toxic materials, and chemicals.
AES can affect different people differently. Primarily, it causes tissue inflammation in the brain, which can lead to damaged nerve cells. In some cases, it can turn severe and damage the brain or result in internal bleeding. In the rarest of patients, it can even lead to fatal forms of encephalitis, including necrotizing and hemorrhagic encephalitis.
Some of the earliest signs of AES include fever, headache, and altered consciousness. These symptoms can turn more serious and cause fatalities if not attended to at the right time. Here is a list of symptoms that you should look out for:
- Fever and general sickness
- Fatigue and headache
- Vomiting and nausea
- Loss of appetite
- Personality changes
- Hallucinations and drowsiness
- Memory loss
- Stiffness in the body that can turn more severe and lead to coma in some cases
Here are some symptoms that are specific to children
- Light sensitivity
- Skin rashes
- Lack of energy
While AES mainly affects children, it can also affect people who are
- Taking immune-suppressants
- Recovering from HIV/AIDS and other such diseases
- Weak on immunity
- More than 50 years old
You may wonder if Acute Encephalitis Syndrome is contagious or not and if you can care for those suffering from the disease without being bothered about contracting it. The disease, per se, is not contagious, but the virus that causes it could very well be. So, you should exercise care when dealing with AES patients for your safety and those around you.
To prevent AES, it is essential to maintain cleanliness and hygiene around you. You should also keep your body hydrated to supply enough nutrients and flush the toxins out. You can also get your children vaccinated for mumps, measles, and other such viruses to protect them. If you or your child is diagnosed with AES, you should consult your doctor without any delay. You might have to stay in a hospital for a few days because the doctors will have to monitor your blood pressure continuously, heart rate, breathing levels, and at the same time, administer medications to manage symptoms and prevent severe damage.