The outcome of encephalitis treatment generally depends on the particular infectious agent involved, the severity of the illness, and how quickly treatment is given. In most cases, people with very mild encephalitis can make a full recovery, although the process may be slow.
Patients receiving treatment for viral encephalitis usually see some relief in 24 to 48 hours and recover in about a month.
In more serious cases, encephalitis can cause:
- Hearing and/or speech loss
- Permanent brain and nerve damage
- Behavioral changes
- Cognitive disabilities
- Lack of muscle control
- Memory loss.
These patients may need long-term therapy, medication, and supportive care.
There are ways to reduce the chance of getting encephalitis so that encephalitis treatment is not needed.
Good personal hygiene can reduce the risk of getting encephalitis from an infected person. Avoid sharing food, utensils, glasses, and other objects with a person who may be exposed to or have the infection. Wash hands often with soap and rinse under running water.
To lessen the risk of being bitten by an infected mosquito or other insect, people should:
- Limit outdoor activities at night
- Wear long-sleeved clothing when outdoors
- Use insect repellents that are most effective for that particular region of the country
- Rid lawn and outdoor areas of free-standing pools of water, in which mosquitoes breed.
Do not over-apply repellants, particularly on young children and especially infants, as chemicals may be absorbed through the skin.