Have a Higher Risk of Serious Illness

A case of encephalitis was reported recently in the UK from a woman with a history of previous mild recurrent bouts of encephalitis, with no obvious family history of encephalitis and no direct exposure to virus. The patient’s parents had died in the same hospital less than two years earlier without any apparent encephalitis-related symptom. This case is unique in that it is one of only a handful of cases known where the cause of encephalitis is unknown. It is therefore imperative that medical scientists are able to identify and study encephalitis, so that more effective preventive measures can be implemented. Early diagnosis and treatment of this condition could mean the difference between a life lived in comparative luxury and one spent struggling with a debilitating illness.

Unfortunately, even though the cause of encephalitis is still unclear, doctors are reporting an increasing number of young people being diagnosed with this rare but potentially serious illness every year. Some of these cases may be related to vitamin deficiencies or to genetic factors (polygenic diseases). A recent study comparing twins shows that minor genetic differences may increase the risks of some forms of this condition. Other common medical conditions may increase the risk, as well.

Some of the symptoms of covid-19 are similar to those experienced by sufferers of a viral illness like HIV/AIDS. A few symptoms show a higher degree of severity, which makes them very important to identify in patients. Anyone whose family members have had this condition should seek medical advice to be tested for this virus. If it is confirmed that they indeed have it, treatment should be started immediately.