Brazilian Natural Medicine

What is equine encephalomyelitis, what are the symptoms and how to treat it

Equine encephalomyelitis is a viral disease caused by a virus of the genus alphaviruswhich is transmitted between wild birds and rodents, through the bite of mosquitoes of the genus Culex, Aedes, anopheles or Culiseta. Although horses and humans are accidental hosts, in some cases they can be infected by the virus.

Equine encephalitis is a zoonotic disease where infection can be caused by three different virus species, Eastern equine encephalitis virus, Western equine encephalitis virus, and Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, which can cause symptoms such as fever, muscle pain, confusion or even death.

Treatment consists of hospitalization and administration of medication to relieve symptoms.

what are the symptoms

Some people who are infected by the virus do not get sick, but when symptoms do appear, they can range from high fever, headache and muscle aches to lethargy, neck stiffness, confusion and brain swelling, which are more serious symptoms. These symptoms usually appear between four to ten days after being bitten by an infected mosquito, and the illness usually lasts for 1 to 3 weeks, but recovery may take longer.

Possible causes

Equine encephalomyelitis is an infection caused by a virus of the genus alphavirus, which is transmitted between wild birds and rodents, through the bite of mosquitoes of the genus Culex, Aedes, anopheles or Culisette, that carry the virus in their saliva.

The virus can reach the skeletal muscles and reach the Langerhans cells, which carry the virus to the local lymph nodes, and can invade the brain.

How the diagnosis is made

The diagnosis of equine encephalomyelitis can be performed using magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, lumbar puncture and analysis of the collected sample, blood, urine and/or stool tests, electroencephalogram and/or brain biopsy.

What does the treatment consist of?

While there is no specific treatment for equine encephalomyelitis, a doctor may prescribe medications to relieve symptoms, such as anticonvulsants, pain relievers, sedatives, and corticosteroids to treat brain swelling. In some cases, hospitalization may be necessary.

There is no vaccination for humans yet, but horses can be vaccinated. In addition, measures should be taken to prevent mosquito bites, in order to prevent the spread of the disease. See strategies that can prevent mosquito bites.

Always consult a doctor.

Verified by RJ985 – Brazilian natural medicine

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