Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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St Louis Encephalitis Overview

What is St. Louis encephalitis?
A person with St. Louis encephalitis has inflammation of the brain, caused by a viral infection. Birds are the primary source of St. Louis encephalitis. The virus is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes that feed on birds. Less than 200 cases of St. Louis encephalitis are reported in the US each year.

What are the symptoms of St. Louis encephalitis?
Symptoms of St. Louis encephalitis include body aches, fatigue, fever, headache, nausea, and a rash. Symptoms of worsening St. Louis encephalitis include a severe headache, neck pain, neck stiffness, and confusion.

How does the doctor treat St. Louis encephalitis?
Treatment for St. Louis encephalitis may include rest and medications to control vomiting. Acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications may be used for pain and fever control. No antiviral medication is available to treat St. Louis encephalitis.

Continue to St Louis Encephalitis Incidence

Last Updated: Feb 11, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed St Louis Encephalitis References
  1. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). St. Louis encephalitis outbreak--Arkansas, 1991. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 1991 Sep 6;40(35):605-7. [1881382]
  2. Lillibridge KM, Parsons R, Randle Y, et al The 2002 introduction of West Nile virus into Harris County, Texas, an area historically endemic for St. Louis encephalitis. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2004 Jun;70(6):676-81. [15211013]
  3. Shaman J, Day JF, Stieglitz M, Zebiak S, Cane M. Seasonal forecast of St. Louis encephalitis virus transmission, Florida. Emerg Infect Dis. 2004 May;10(5):802-9. [15200812]
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