Health - What is encephalitis, Causes and risk factors of encephalitis

What is encephalitis

What are the causes of encephalitis?

Encephalitis is irritation and swelling (inflammation) of the brain, most often due to infections. Encephalitis is a rare condition. It occurs more often in the first year of life and decreases with age. The very young and the elderly are more likely to have a severe case. Encephalitis is most often caused by a viral infection. Many types of viruses may cause it.

Exposure to viruses can occur through:

* Breathing in respiratory droplets from an infected person

* Contaminated food or drink

* Mosquito, tick, and other insect bites

* Skin contact

Different viruses will occur in different locations. Many cases will tend to cluster in a certain season. Encephalitis caused by the herpes simplex virus is the leading cause of more severe cases in all ages, including newborns.

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