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Encephalitis is a swelling (inflammation) in the brain. It is usually caused by a virus. The swelling changes the normal blood flow to the brain. This can cause confusion, a high fever, and a severe headache. You also may be sleepy and sensitive to light. And you may have nausea and a stiff neck and back. In more serious cases, a person may have seizures or tremors.
Your doctor may give you medicine to help your body get rid of the virus. You may have some symptoms for several weeks or longer while your body slowly heals. Your doctor may recommend physical therapy. This can help you get stronger and active again.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:
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Current as of: June 9, 2019
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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