How is encephalitis diagnosed?

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Encephalitis may be diagnosed using a variety of methods. A spinal tap is a common procedure used to diagnose encephalitis. A needle is used to collect a small amount of cerebrospinal fluid (fluid that surrounds the brain and spine). The fluid is then tested for an elevation in the number of white blood cells or evidence of antibodies to the virus. Brain imaging is another method used to diagnose encephalitis. This method can detect swelling of the brain by using computerized tomography, or magnetic resonance imaging.

Continue Learning about Viral Infections

Viral Infections

Viral Infections

Viral infections like herpes simplex, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), chicken pox and rotavirus are infections caused by a virus instead of a bacterium. Viral infections do not respond to antibiotics, but some specific viruses ...

like influenza A and B can be treated with certain antiviral medications. Most commonly, treatment for viral infections includes drinking lots of fluids, getting rest, eating well and letting the illness run its course.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.