PT Health Life

Be careful of encephalitis in children in the summer

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PT Health Life – If encephalitis is not treated early, children can experience many serious sequelae and can even die in a very short time.

1. Causes of encephalitis in children

Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain parenchyma. This is a serious illness, with many dangerous complications. If not diagnosed and treated promptly, it will leave many serious neurological sequelae, even death.

In our country, infectious agents, especially viruses (or viruses), are a common cause of encephalitis. Common viruses include: Herpes virus, Japanese encephalitis virus, Enterovirus (type A71) that causes hand, foot and mouth disease, viruses that cause chickenpox, measles, mumps…

Depending on each virus agent, there will be specific transmission routes. Accordingly, the Herpes virus is transmitted orally (Herpes type 1) or sexually transmitted (Herpes type 2).

The virus that causes Japanese encephalitis is transmitted to humans from mosquito bites, in which Culex mosquitoes transmit pathogens from animals such as birds, storks, and pigs to humans through their bites.

2. Signs of encephalitis

Every year, it is recorded that there are many pediatric encephalitis patients of all ages with common symptoms such as high fever, vomiting, complex convulsions, weakness of limbs, mental disorders lasting more than 24 hours such as drowsiness, even coma.

In addition, depending on the viral agent causing the disease, children will have more epidemiological factors and clinical manifestations that suggest common viral agents.

Many children can initially recognize it compared to other diseases such as sudden high fever, headache, vomiting, and lack of alertness. The disease is most common in children from 6 months to 10 years old. Because encephalitis has no typical symptoms, many parents often do not understand, leading to hospitalization when the disease becomes severe.

Tests such as lumbar puncture to obtain cerebrospinal fluid, CT Scan/MRI of the brain, and electroencephalogram are useful tools to help diagnose encephalitis.

Currently, multi-agent PCR testing with cerebrospinal fluid specimens is a test with high sensitivity and specificity to contribute to determining the diagnosis and finding the cause of the disease. However, not all cases of childhood encephalitis have a specific cause found. The unknown cause does not rule out a diagnosis of encephalitis. In that case, clinical assessment and cranial imaging will play an important role.

Children with encephalitis, if not treated early, can experience many serious complications. Illustration photo.

3. How to treat encephalitis?

Encephalitis is a disease that requires emergency treatment, especially when the patient shows signs of life-threatening danger. Closely monitoring the child’s perception and vital signs is a priority. Many pediatric patients need to be intubated and mechanically ventilated and use many medicinal products to ensure the goal of preventing cerebral edema.

In the case of encephalitis caused by herpes virus, it is necessary to quickly use the antiviral drug Acyclovir intravenously for the patient. Encephalitis patients will be given a prognosis by doctors after 1 – 2 weeks of treatment through a combination of clinical signs and tests.

Summary: If encephalitis is not treated early, children with encephalitis can experience many serious sequelae, and the patient can even die from the disease in a very short time. To prevent disease, people need to clean the environment, eliminate mosquito shelters, and parents need to observe children and create a clean, airy living environment for children. In addition, it is necessary to give children cooked food and boiled water, regularly clean their hands, feet and body, let them wear masks when going out and fully vaccinate them.

Parents need to pay attention to vaccinating their children on schedule and fully as recommended by Health officials. With many current medical advances, we have in hand many vaccines to prevent dangerous viruses, such as Japanese encephalitis vaccine, measles – mumps – Rubella vaccine, chickenpox, influenza.

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