c. Signs/Symptoms of Encephalitis. There are some differences, but the
several forms of encephalitis have similar signs and symptoms. The onset of the
disease is usually sudden. Signs and symptoms include the following:
Lethargy or restlessness.
Cranial nerve abnormality.
The signs and symptoms are similar to those of viral meningitis, but in this case are not
bacterial. The patient has fewer chills, and his glucose level is normal.
d. Treatment of Encephalitis. Generally, give supportive treatment. That is,
treat the symptoms of the disease.
POLIOMYELITIS (INFANTILE PARALYSIS)
a. Definition of Poliomyelitis. This central nervous system disease is defined
as an inflammation of the gray matter of the spinal cord. The severity of this
communicable disease ranges from an almost unnoticed infection to fatal paralytic
b. Cause of Poliomyelitis. The cause of this highly contagious disease is viral.
Three distinct types of polio viruses are found worldwide. These viruses are spread
from person to person by direct contact with infected oropharyngeal secretions or feces.
These viruses attack the anterior horn of the spinal cord and the brain stem. In the
1940s and 50s, poliomyelitis attacked children and young adults most often. Today, the
disease usually affects groups of people who have not been immunized.
c. Signs/Symptoms of Poliomyelitis. Signs and symptoms of the disease are
restricted to either the spinal segment or the gray matter of the medulla oblongata of the
brain. As such, they are called spinal or bulbar, respectively. The spinal form of the
disease is most severe in one extremity, usually the lower extremity. The diaphragm
and the intercostal muscles may be involved. The bulbar form of the disease commonly
affects the respiratory muscles and requires prompt intensive care.
d. Treatment of Poliomyelitis. Treat the symptoms. Analgesics may be given
to ease headache, back pain, and leg spasms. Morphine is NOT given because it
suppresses the respiratory system, a system which the disease may slow down. Moist
heat may be applied to reduce muscle spasms and pain.