How to protect yourself from the germs that attack the brain
17th june 2019, New Delhi : Our brain is undoubtedly the most vital organ in the human body and in case there is an infection in the brain then the functioning of all the organ systems gets affected. One of the most common infectious conditions that affect the brain includes viral encephalitis. It is basically an inflammation of the meninges, which is the membrane enclosing the brain and the spinal cord.
Due to inflamed meninges in encephalitis condition, the patient may suffer from a confused state of mind accompanied by fever, headache, occasional seizures and even sleepiness leading to complete or death!
Thus, understanding the severity of this situation we all must take care to prevent such conditions rather than opting for a cure. The article below talks about several measures to prevent such deadly infections from occurring but before that let us gather some more insights about the various causes of encephalitis.
Viruses are the most common cause of encephalitis. West Nile virus, cytomegalovirus, Herpes Zoster and Herpes Simplex are the most dangerous ones which readily result in severe infections. Either they can directly infect the brain or there can be reactivation of some past viral infection leading to brain damage. Also, there can be autoimmune damage wherein some viruses or vaccines induce some reactions that stimulate the immune system to attack the brain. Other than viral meningitis protozoan encephalitis and bacterial meningitis are also common.
Whatever may be the cause of meningitis, the symptoms are very painful for the sufferer. In order to prevent falling prey to such conditions, certain measures must be adopted as precautionary steps. Some of them are mentioned below:
Vaccination is the best prevention: Getting a shot of vaccination can keep encephalitis away. Currently, vaccinations are available only for bacterial meningitis and not viral ones. However, it is well studies that bacterial encephalitis is much riskier as compared to the viral one. Thus, getting these vaccines is always better prevention especially if you’re a resident of close quarter apartments. As per the guidelines from “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” you must get an initial vaccine shot at the age of 11- 12 followed by a booster dose at age 16- 18.
No sharing but only caring: We know you care for your dear ones but if they’re already infected with encephalitis then you need to maintain some precautionary measures. Encephalitis is communicable and spreads very quickly via respiratory or throat secretions from the infected person. So, maintain proper distance especially with respect to sharing of personal items like lipsticks, toothbrush, cigarettes, water bottles and glasses.
Some distance is always better: As mentioned previously encephalitis spreads via secretions just like any other bacterial or viral infection. Sneezing and coughing are the most common ways via which secretions of an infected person can reach you. So make sure to maintain the required distance. In case you’ve some patient in your family itself then take proper precautions. Ask the patient to keep his personal stuff separately, advise them to cover mouth while sneezing or coughing.
Good Hygiene for good health: Unhygienic lifestyle gives the infecting agents an easier pathway to attack you. Thus, if you do not want to fall prey to infections, make sure you maintain personal hygiene. Washing your hands often, especially before having your meals; wearing face masks when visiting crowded areas are all small steps towards a hygienic lifestyle.
Munch on immunity boosters: People with a stronger immune system tend to be healthier as compared to their counterparts. Thus, do not compromise on strengthening your immunity. With a strong immune system, your body can easily fight any infecting agent which may result in encephalitis or other infections. In order to host a strong immunity, you must include vitamin-rich food items. Incorporate fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains to your meal plans. Also, exercising and getting the right amount of sleep is of prime importance.
Predicting any infection is highly uncertain and fighting an infection is all the more difficult for our body. Especially brain infections are the most fatal of all and encephalitis is the most common brain infection prevalent amongst masses. However, by following the above listed measures you can definitely minimise your chances of falling prey to encephalitis and other brain infections.