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Encephalitis Treatment

Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain caused by infections in other parts of the body, by metallic poisons like lead or arsenic, by poisonous gases and fumes, by alcohol, syphilis, tuberculosis, or by parasites of trichinosis or malaria. It may also follow acute or chronic ear infections.

It usually starts with a severe headache, nausea and vomiting, high fever, sleepiness, dizziness and delirium. The patient may develop convulsions and paralysis of various parts. The patient must be kept in a perfectly quiet and darkened room with head elevated, and an ice bag over his head.

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He should be given a liquid but nourishing diet. The sulfa drugs and penicillin save many of these patients. There is a form of encephalitis called the "lethargic" which occurs as an epidemic now and then. This form comes on slowly and gradually, about ten days after exposure to the germs or virus of the disease.

Lethargic encephalitis often makes an invalid of the patient, with some symptoms lasting months after the attack. The fever in these cases is not high; but the patient is forever drowsy, has disturbances of vision and may develop various tics and tremors like in St. Vitus's dance.

They often suffer from various mental disturbances. This type is easily confused with many other disease conditions, and it takes much ingenuity to tell them apart. Nor is the cause of the various types of encephalitis known. It may be a germ or virus.

The best one can do about these dangerous diseases is to prevent being attacked by them, by the methods indicated under the topics Empiric, Hygiene, Infection and Immunity.

 Endarteritis is an inflammation of the inner lining of an artery. If the artery of a limb is affected, gangrene may result. But most cases of acute endarteritis of a small artery recover with no serious consequences. Focal infections and rheumatism may cause it. Chronic cases are caused by tobacco, alcohol, syphilis or tuberculosis. The cause needs to be given attention in all cases. Large doses of Vitamin "E" are now used successfully in these chronic cases. This Vitamin taken in doses of 75 milligrams three times a day is said to prevent gangrene.

 Endemic refers to a disease which occurs in epidemic form and is more or less always present, but is confined to only a certain locality or only among a certain people, as pellagra in our South, and cholera in India. Epidemic refers to a disease attacking large groups of people at the same time but is not confined to a particular locality, and may spring up in any part of the world. If a disease does affect many parts of the world at the same time it is called pandemic.

Endocarditis is an inflammation of the inner lining of the heart. Sometimes the disease is confined to the valves of the heart, and at other times the lining of the entire heart is affected, often extending to the muscular structure (myocarditis) and also to the outer covering (pericarditis).

There is one form called malignant or ulcerative, which is a rather serious condition. Since the disease usually follows some already existing infection in another part of the body, like rheumatism, gonorrhea, syphilis or a streptococcic infection, the disease will be recognized by an increase and prolongation of the fever, by the appearance of a murmur at the apex of the heart, by the more rapid and weaker pulse, by an increase in the white blood cells and a decrease of the red blood cells, by shortness of breath and by general weakness of the patient.
Both the sulfa drugs and penicillin are now used at the same time. Penicillin is given in very large doses, even as high as a million units per day, and many of the cases which were hopeless years ago are now recovering under the miracle drugs.

But it still is better to prevent all infections by hygienic living, by keeping infections out of your body, by not coming in personal contact with infected persons, by keeping your hands and the rest of the body clean, eating clean, fresh and freshly prepared food, not over-working yourself to exhaustion, not exercising too much, getting enough sleep and fresh air, and keeping away from alcohol and tobacco.
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