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- Viruses carried by mosquitoes such as West Nile or Eastern equine encephalitis
- Herpes simplex virus (HSV)
- Chickenpox virus
- Influenza virus
- Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)
- Polio virus
- Measles virus
- Mumps virus
- Living, working, or playing in an area where mosquito- or tick-borne viruses are common.
Not being immunized against diseases, such as:
- A suppressed immune system caused by certain medications, or health conditions, such as HIV infection
- Having cancer—sometimes immune system overactivity may be the first sign of cancer
- Weakness, severe fatigue
- Sensitivity to light
- Stiff neck and back
- Muscle aches
- Changes in consciousness
- Personality changes
- Loss of mobility
- Progressive drowsiness
- Trouble walking
- Trouble speaking
- Trouble swallowing
- Blood tests
- Lumbar puncture to test the cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord
- Brain biopsy
- Antiviral drugs to shorten the duration of the illness
- Steroids to reduce brain inflammation
- Diuretics to decrease elevated intracranial pressure
- Intubation with hyperventilation to decrease elevated intracranial pressure, and to maintain respiration and ventilation
- Anticonvulsants to prevent and/or treat seizures
- Make sure that you and your children are vaccinated against preventable viral illnesses
Protect yourself from mosquito bites:
- Fix window screens.
- Drain standing water around your home.
- Wear long clothes after dark.
- Use repellent when you are outside.
- Use proper mosquito netting at night. Look for netting treated with insecticide.
- Reviewer: Rimas Lukas, MD
- Review Date: 09/2016
- Update Date: 09/23/2014