Encephalitis In Babies – 9 Causes & 14 Symptoms You Should Be Aware Of

Written by Hansika Kaushik • 

Are you aware of the disease ‘encephalitis’? Did you know that your little one is at a higher risk of contracting encephalitis? If these questions stump you, or you simply wish to know more about the disease, consider reading the post. Here we look at encephalitis in babies, its symptoms, causes, and treatments.

What Is Encephalitis?

Before we understand how encephalitis affects your little one, let’s look at what the disease is. Encephalitis is a rare neurological condition, and it occurs in babies who are a few months or less than a year old. It leads to inflammation in the brain tissues, which can lead to convulsions, seizures, nausea and vomiting (1).

Causes Of Encephalitis:

Encephalitis usually results from a viral infection, but sometimes bacterial infections can also lead to encephalitis. The infection spreads by either human-to-human contact or due to an insect bite or a mosquito bite. If your baby consumes any contaminated food, it may lead to an infection, which can escalate to encephalitis. Typically, the encephalitis-inducing virus or bacteria enters the brain and inflames the brain tissues. The inflammation destroys nerve cells and leads to intracerebral hemorrhage, thereby damaging the brain. The following type of viruses can lead to encephalitis:

  1. Measles
  2. Rabies
  3. Polio
  4. Mumps
  5. West Nile virus
  6. Rubella
  7. Echovirus
  8. Cytomegalovirus
  9. Herpes Virus (2)

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Symptoms Of Encephalitis In Babies:

The symptoms of encephalitis can become severe within several days or even hours in some cases, which can rapidly worsen your toddler’s health. Some of the encephalitis symptoms in babies, include:

  1. Nausea and vomiting
  2. Stiffness in the body
  3. Child may cry inconsolably
  4. Loss of appetite
  5. Irritability in babies is one of the common symptoms
  6. Bulging may occur in the soft tissues of the skull
  7. Severe headache
  8. Convulsions
  9. Loss of sensation in the body
  10. Double vision
  11. Memory loss
  12. Lethargy or extreme drowsiness
  13. Decreased consciousness
  14. Tremors (3)

[ Read: Symptoms Of Measles In Babies ]

Consulting A Pediatrician:

The best course of action is to take your little darling to a doctor as soon as he exhibits initial symptoms. In case, your baby has an unnaturally high body temperature that refuses to abate, seek immediate medical aid. If the symptoms worsen, you shouldn’t ignore these signals.

Preventing Encephalitis:

Encephalitis is a bacterial or viral-induced condition, and you can avoid it by taking some necessary precautions. Consider the following preventive steps:

  1. Reduce mosquito breeding around your vicinity by cleaning up areas and draining stagnant water.
  1. Avoid your little one come into contact with anyone who has a bacterial or viral infection.
  1. Make sure you wash your hands frequently, especially before you pick your little darling up. It will help your baby avoid any infections.

[ Read: Causes Of Epilepsy In Babies ]

Treating Encephalitis:

There are many treatment programs for encephalitis and reducing its symptoms, which include:

  1. Antiviral medicines.
  1. Antibacterial medicines.
  1. Steroids to babies who suffer from severe brain tissue swelling.
  1. Anticonvulsant drugs for babies and toddlers who suffer from seizures.
  1. OTC i.e. over the counter drugs for babies with fever and headaches.
  1. Doctors might prescribe your little one sedatives, to treat his restlessness and irritability.

[ Read: Headaches In Babies ]

If your baby exhibits the symptoms of encephalitis, rush to your pediatrician immediately and get a thorough medical examination of your little darling. It is about his health and well-being, so take no risks.

We hope you found the information useful. Did your baby ever contract encephalitis? What measures did you take? How did you deal with it? Tell us all about your experiences here. Our readers would love to hear from you. Leave your comment in the box below.

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