Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
Because the onset of serious illness associated with encephalitis is usually severe and relatively sudden, seek emergency care. The emergency care team will likely include a specialist in disorders of the nervous system (neurologist).
Questions from your doctor
You may need to answer some of the following questions or answer questions on behalf of your child or another person with severe illness:
- When did the symptoms begin?
- Have you taken any medications to treat the fever or headache?
- Have you recently started taking any new medications? If so, what is the drug?
- Have you been bitten by a mosquito or tick during the past few weeks?
- Have you likely been exposed to mosquitoes or ticks? What precautions have you used against insect bites?
- Have you traveled recently? Where?
- Did you receive recommended vaccinations before your trip?
- Have you recently had a cold, flu or other illness?
- What standard childhood vaccinations have not been administered?
- Have you recently received a vaccination?
- What animals have you been exposed to recently? Were you bitten?
- Have you been exposed to any known toxins?
- Have you ever been diagnosed with genital herpes?
- Have you recently had a new sexual partner?
- Have you had unprotected sex with a new or long-term sexual partner?
- Do you have a condition or take any drugs that result in a weakened immune system?
- Encephalitis and meningitis fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/encephalitis_meningitis/detail_encephalitis_meningitis.htm. Accessed March 8, 2011.
- Encephalitis. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/sec16/ch217/ch217c.html. Accessed March 10, 2011.
- Johnson RP, et al. Viral encephalitis in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed March 10, 2011.
- Hardarson HS. Acute viral encephalitis in children and adolescents: Clinical manifestations and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed March 10, 2011.
- Beckham J, et al. Encephalitis. In: Mandell G, et al., eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2009. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?sid=1129246002&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-443-06839-3..00087-4&isbn=978-0-443-06839-3&type=bookPage§ionEid=4-u1.0-B978-0-443-06839-3..00087-4&uniqId=237025740-4. Accessed March 10, 2011.
- Hardarson HS. Acute viral encephalitis in children and adolescents: Pathogenesis and etiology. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed March 10, 2011.
- Information on arboviral enchephalitides. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/arbor/arbdet.htm. Accessed March 8, 2011.
- Hardarson HS. Acute viral encephalitis in children and adolescents: Treatment and prevention. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed March 10, 2011.
- Insect repellant use and safety. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/qa/insect_repellent.htm. Accessed March 15, 2011.
- A parent's guide to insect repellent. American Academy of Pediatrics. http://patiented.aap.org/content.aspx?aid=5556. Accessed March 11, 2011.
- Acyclovir. National Center for Biotechnology Medicine. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0000533. Accessed March 22, 2011.
- Ganciclovir injection. National Center for Biotechnology Medicine. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0000889. Accessed March 22, 2011.