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What are the symptoms of encephalitis?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Talk to your doctor immediately if you are experiencing symptoms that may be an indication of encephalitis. Some of the symptoms of encephalitis are similar to the flu, and it is possible to mistake encephalitis for the flu. These symptoms may include headache, joint pain, and fever. Encephalitis, however, may include signs like speech or movement disorders, altered mental status, and seizures. Since encephalitis can be life threatening, it is important to talk to your doctor or go to a medical center if you suspect you have encephalitis. Appropriate treatment depends on getting a proper diagnosis of the disease.

Signs and symptoms of encephalitis include feeling very sleepy and confused. People with encephalitis may get so confused that they might not be able to recognize their family members. They may also have headaches.

People with infectious encephalitis might have a fever. Some people might also have seizures. Seizures are when there are too many electrical messages from the brain and the body starts shaking.

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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.