In rare cases, the herpes virus can enter the brain and cause encephalitis

In rare cases, the herpes virus can enter the brain and cause encephalitis 1

The disease can cause stroke, hearing loss, and permanent brain damage. There are rare cases of amoebic meningitis, sometimes related to fresh water swimming, which can be rapidly fatal. Herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE) is responsible for about 10 percent of all encephalitis cases, with a frequency of about 2 cases per million persons per year. Herpesviral Encephalitis can be treated with high-dose intravenous aciclovir. When treated, HSE is still fatal in one-third of cases, and causes serious long-term neurological damage in over half of survivors. Only a small population of survivors (2.5) regain completely normal brain function. While the herpes virus can be spread, encephalitis itself is not infectious. Viruses that enter the brain in this manner are often widely scattered throughout the brain.

In rare cases, the herpes virus can enter the brain and cause encephalitis 2Viruses enter the body via the respiratory tract (mumps, measles), gastrointestinal tract (enteroviruses), by inoculation from insect bites (arthropod-borne viruses), and from animal bites (rabies). From this location, reactivated virus can spread either to the skin, along the branches of the trigeminal nerve, causing sores on the lips (herpes labialis), or to the brain, infecting the meninges of the anterior and middle cranial fossae. A few cases of neonatal HSV encephalitis are mild but most cause a devastating diffuse necrotizing pathology, without predilection for the frontal and temporal lobes. Encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain tissue, is rare, affecting about one in 200,000 people each year in the U. The disease is usually caused by one of several viral infections, so it’s sometimes referred to as viral encephalitis. Herpes-related encephalitis can erupt rapidly, and may cause seizures or mental changes and even lead to coma or death. Unlike herpes, arboviral infections are seasonal, occurring primarily in summer and early fall, and are clustered in specific regions, such as in the case of St. Louis encephalitis. Herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE) is a rare neurological disorder characterized by inflammation of the brain (encephalitis). Herpes simplex encephalitis is caused by a virus known as herpes simplex virus (HSV). Meningitis is a disorder characterized by inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. (MRI) can also be beneficial in diagnosing a case of herpes simplex encephalitis.

Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain that can range from mild to extremely serious. Viruses and other microbes rarely get into the brain, but when they do, they can cause an inflammatory condition called encephalitis (en-sef-a-LY-tis). These include herpes simplex viruses, HIV, rabies, mumps, polio, and cytomegalovirus; the bacterium that causes Lyme disease; and the parasite that causes toxoplasmosis. In the United States, this is rare, with a few hundred cases in an average year, but in Asia it is a bigger problem. The viruses causing primary encephalitis can be epidemic or sporadic. They are manufactured when a foreign agent, such as a virus, enters the body. Encephalitis is an inflammation (swelling) of the brain. Some cases of encephalitis are mild and symptoms only last for a short time. Infection with many different viruses can lead to encephalitis.

Viral Encephalitis

Steve Johnson still can’t believe a cold sore virus landed him in the emergency room. Herpes simplex type 1 is usually a minor annoyance, but in rare cases it can turn deadly. Viral encephalitis is inflammation of the brain caused by a virus and can cause permanent brain damage. There is evidence to suggest that some cases of viral encephalitis are caused by a dormant herpes simplex virus infection becoming active again. Enter your comments below (optional). Ebola virus is a rare disease that can causes severe symptoms and can be life-threatening. Most cases of viral meningitis are relatively mild, with symptoms of headache, fever and general ill feeling, and those affected recover without medical treatment. HSVs can cause meningitis or encephalitis (inflammation of the brain itself, which is much more serious). HSV encephalitis is mainly caused by HSV-1 (which is also the cause of most cold-sores), whereas meningitis is more often caused by HSV-2 (the cause of most genital herpes). Although HIV is a rare cause of viral meningitis, it is important that adults with viral meningitis due to unknown cause undergo an HIV test. Encephalitis is acute inflammation of the brain resulting either from a viral infection or when the body’s own immune system mistakenly attacks brain tissue. Begin by entering your email address below. Health authorities suspect incidence is higher than official figures because many cases go unreported when symptoms are mild. Mosquitoes can carry encephalitis causing viruses. Encephalitis can be life-threatening, but this is very rare. Infection of the nervous system can involve the meninges (meningitis) or the brain substance itself (encephalitis), or both (meningoencephalitis). Bacteria reach the subarachnoid space via the bloodstream or, less often, by extension from contiguous structures such as the sinuses or ears. The major causes of viral encephalitis are listed in Table 25-3. Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain, usually caused by a direct viral infection or a hyper-sensitivity reaction to a virus or foreign protein. In rare cases, encephalitis may follow vaccination against some of the viral diseases listed above. Lyme disease, spread by ticks, can cause encephalitis, as can Colorado tick fever.


Herpes meningoencephalitis is infection of the brain and the tissue that covers it with the herpes simplex virus. Enter the last name, specialty or keyword for your search below. About 1 in 10 cases of encephalitis is caused by the herpes simplex virus. HSV1 infection can also be sexually transmitted to the genital area. T1-weighted MRI of brain demonstrates diffuse enhancement of the meninges in viral meningoencephalitis. Currently, more than 85 of viral meningitis cases are caused by nonpolio enteroviruses. Enteroviruses enter the human host usually via the oral-fecal route, but can also spread through the respiratory route. HSV-1 remains the most common cause of sporadic encephalitis, while HSV-2 infections of CNS mostly are restricted to aseptic meningitis. Herpes simplex can cause a benign lymphocytic meningitis in adults but usually produces a severe encephalitis in neonates. Acute viral encephalitis (caused by a direct viral infection of the brain). You’re not alone, reach out to thousands of patients. The other major cause of encephalitis in the US is the herpes virus family, including herpes simplex, Epstein-Barr, cytomegalovirus, and varicella-zoster. Viruses that enter the brain directly from the bloodstream usually become widely scattered throughout the brain so that they cause diffuse encephalitis. In rare cases, adenoviruses can cause encephalitis or meningoencephalitis, which can be fatal in 30 of cases.

One kind of virus that can cause encephalitis is Herpes simplex type 1 (HSV-1). Although Herpes simplex type 1 most often causes mild symptoms like cold sores and fever blisters, it can occasionally travel to the brain and cause encephalitis. Herpes encephalitis is very rare, affecting two cases per million among the U.