Viral encephalitis in a 13 y/o male

  1. Is anyone had any experience with this disease. Our neighbor boy was dx with this today. He had a grand mal seizure yesterday at home and was transported to the local hospital. After several hours, he was still post-ictal and began to spike a temp...had him transferred to a larger facility with a PICU. Still comatose today. I don't have much peds experience and even less with encephalitis....Any information would be appreciated...Thanks..
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    Joined: Aug '01; Posts: 2,276; Likes: 42


  3. by   boggle
    We have had a case here recently too. It's a whole different animal than the bacterial strains you see on college campuses. It is not life-threatening, but the patient shows symptoms of CNS inflammation and is pretty miserable.

    The viral type of encephalitis is not contageous. It is referred to as "aseptic". CSF cultures are negative, CSF appears clear but it's protein and glucose levels are elevated.

    It often follows a viral illness such as herpes, measles, echovirus. The unknown factor here is why and how a virus that you are harboring enters the CNS?

    My references say treatment is supportive--- treat the symptoms. The illness runs it's course and patients make a full recovery.
  4. by   boggle
    I just re-read your original post. Are you sure his case is viral? The cases I have seen have not resulted in coma, (although the bacterial cases did). But...I have only seen a few cases over the years.
  5. by   502Nurse
    Sorry to hear about this. A relative of mine had viral encephalitis a few years ago and it was a nightmare. She had sudden onset confusion, then aphasia, seizures and was in a coma for two days. She was in the ICU for a week. We thought we would loose her, we prayed and searched the internet for anything at all to learn more about this illness. The recovery time was a long one, with continued disorientation and short term memory loss. To this day she needs to keep notes of everything she needs to do.
    Encephalitis is more common these days with West Nile virus spreading. There should be much more info on the internet now, and there are support groups out there, too.
    Good luck and I will say a prayer for this boy.
  6. by   dianthe1013
    I am also sorry to hear about this. My father's brother died from complications related to viral encephalitis. That was in 1973. I never met him.

    I will say a prayer for him.
  7. by   CMERN
    My Prayers are with HIM and ....
  8. by   deespoohbear
    Update: The young man woke up late Monday evening and was able to recognize his parents and all his other family/friends. Still pretty weak, but is alert and oriented. Worried about his homework and when will he get to go home!! As far as I know, they are still calling it viral. Thanks for all the answers!!