Encephalitis is a serious condition and, although some people will make a good recovery, it can cause persistent problems and can be fatal.
For example, encephalitis due to the herpes simplex virus (the most common type of encephalitis) is fatal in one infive cases even if treated, and causes persistent problems in around half the people who have it.
The chances of successful treatment are much betterif encephalitis is diagnosed and treated quickly.
Long-term problems can occur after encephalitis as a result of damage to the brain.
Some of the most common complications include:
These problems can have a significant impact on the life of the affected person, as well as their family, friends and carers.
Recovering from encephalitis can be a long, slow and difficult process. Many people will never make a full recovery.
Specialised services are available to aid recovery and help the person adapt to any persistent problems this is known as rehabilitation.
Thismay involve support from:
Beforeleaving hospital,thehealth and care needs of the affected person will be assessed and anindividual care plandrawn up to meetthose needs.
Thisshouldinvolve a discussion with the affected person and anyone likely to be involved in their care,such as closefamily members.
See the care and support section for useful information and advice about caring for someone, including information that may be useful if you're new to caring.
Find out about encephalitis, a rare but serious condition that causes inflammation of the brain.
Find out about the main signs and symptoms of encephalitis, and when to get medical advice.
Find out about the main causes of encephalitis, including viral infections and problems with the immune system.
Find out about the tests that may need to be carried out to diagnose encephalitis, including brain scans and a lumbar puncture.
Find out how and where encephalitis is treated.
Find out about the further problems that can occur after encephalitis, and what help and support is available.