As it is World Encephalitis Day, I thought I would share 10 facts about encephalitis.
1. You need to know about it. I had never heard of it until by chance I worked in Ryedale where the UK charity working on the condition is based. It can be life-threatening and requires urgent hospital treatment. As older and younger people can be affected, you cannot afford to mess about on this one.
2. Encephalitis is serious condition in which the brain swells.
3. Like so many conditions, the symptoms of encephalitis can mimic those of others often first appearing with ful like symptoms such as an increase in temperature and headache. Other symptoms develop and might include confusion, fits, difficulty communicating, weakness or loss of movement in areas of the body, changes of personality and loss of consciousness.
4. Encephalitis is not infectious in that you cannot catch it from another person.
5. There are many reasons encephalitis might happen from viral infections to immune system issues to bacterial or fungal infections.
6. Some types of encephalitis are spread by mosquitoes (such as Japanese encephalitis), ticks (such as tick-borne encephalitis) and mammals (such as rabies).
7. Treatment varies depending on the underlying cause of the inflammation of the brain and can result in hospital stays of days, weeks or months.
8. Some people can recover fully from the condition but some live with long-term damage caused to the brain.
9. If you have encephalitis you may have to rely on someone else to care for you in terms of helping you with memory loss, frequent fits, fatigue and problems managing everyday tasks.
10. World Encephalitis Day on February 22nd is the global awareness day for people who have been affected by encephalitis. It was founded by The Encephalitis Society in 2014 and has subsequently helped to raise awareness among millions of people
Check out amazing advice, support and narratives from the Encephalitis Society.