There is no specific treatment for LaCrosse encephalitis. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses, and no effective antiviral drugs have been discovered. Thus, care of people with this infection is focused on treatment of symptoms and complications.
Some children with LaCrosse encephalitis have ongoing seizures and swelling of the brain, but deaths are rare.
During an average year, about 75 cases of LaCrosse encephalitis are reported. Most cases occur in children under 16 years of age.
There is no vaccine for LaCrosse encephalitis. Prevention involves public health action to control mosquitoes and individual action to avoid mosquito bites. To avoid being bitten by the mosquitoes that cause LaCrosse encephalitis:
- Eliminate breeding sites (tires, buckets, cans, etc.) near houses
- When outside, wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts
- Treat exposed skin with an insect repellent.