‘Fareb’ fame actor Faraaz Khan is currently in ICU and is battling for his life at Vikram Hospital in Bengaluru. Faraaz, who is the son of late B-town actor Yusuf Khan is suffering from a brain infection that led to multiple seizures after which he was admitted to the hospital. The condition that has affected him is known as encephalitis. Here, we tell you all about this condition in detail.Also Read - Salman Khan Helps Faraaz Khan With Medical Bills as Latter Battles For Life at Bengaluru Hospital, Read on

What is Encephalitis?

Encephalitis is a serious infection that is characterised by inflammation of the brain tissue. Its most common cause is viral infections but in some cases, even fungi and bacterial infections can also lead to the infection. Encephalitis is of two types namely primary and secondary. The former directly impacts your brain and spinal cord whereas the latter begins somewhere else in the body and gradually travels to your brain. Also Read - Faraaz Khan Battling With His Life Following Brain Infection, Pooja Bhatt Reaches Out After Family Seeks Financial Support

Symptoms of Encephalitis

Symptoms of encephalitis range from mild (fever, vomiting, stiff neck, lethargy, and headache) to severe (high fever, hallucinations, irritability, sensitivity to light, seizures, unconsciousness, etc.). In children, encephalitis can lead to body stiffness, poor appetite, constant crying, vomiting, and a soft spot in the scalp.

Causes of Encephalitis

There are 3 potential causes of encephalitis namely common viruses, childhood viruses, and arboviruses. Here, we will talk about the most common virus that causes encephalitis, which is herpes simplex. It usually travels through a nerve to the skin and causes cold sore however in rare cases it travels to the brain. This is what has happened in Faraaz Khan’s case.

This type of infection affects the temporal lobe, the brain part that controls speech and memory. It also affects the part of the brain known for controlling behaviour and emotions. If not treated on time, encephalitis caused by herpes can lead to severe brain damage and even cause death.

Risk Factors For Encephalitis

People whose immunity is weak, older adults, and children below the age of 1 are at a high risk of encephalitis. Also, those who are living in a mosquito or tocks prone area are at a high risk of getting the infection.

Diagnosis of Encephalitis

As far as the diagnosis of encephalitis is concerned, a doctor firstly asks your symptoms and based on that conducts a few tests like spinal tap to detect signs of encephalitis, brain imaging test to rule out other possible explanation for symptoms, ECG to know those brain areas that are affected, brain biopsy (in case doctors are not able to determine the cause of brain swelling), and blood tests to know the signs of the viral infection.

Line of Treatment For Encephalitis

To treat herpes encephalitis, antiviral medicines are prescribed. In the case of other forms of encephalitis, doctors focus on relieving the symptoms by providing pain killers, sedatives, fluids, mechanical ventilation, corticosteroids, etc.

Complications Linked to Encephalitis

If not diagnosed and treated on time, encephalitis can become severe and can lead to complications including loss of memory, epilepsy, vision problem, hearing issue, coma, difficulty in breathing, lack of muscle coordination, and even death.