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Encephalitis is a swelling (inflammation) in the brain. It is usually caused by a virus. The normal blood flow to the brain changes. This can cause confusion, a high fever, and a severe headache. Your child also may be sleepy and sensitive to light and may have nausea and a stiff neck and back. In the most serious cases, a child may have seizures or tremors.
Your doctor may prescribe medicine to help your child's body get rid of the virus. Your child may have some symptoms for several weeks or longer while their body slowly heals. Your doctor may recommend physiotherapy to help your child get stronger and active again.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
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Current as of: October 31, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Christine Hahn MD - Epidemiology
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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