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California Encephalitis Medication

  • Author: Folusakin O Ayoade, MD; Chief Editor: Burke A Cunha, MD  more...
 
Updated: Jul 01, 2016
 

Medication Summary

Supportive care is the mainstay of treatment. The drugs in supportive care consist of agents capable of ameliorating neurologic complications. Antipyretics are used as needed. No antiviral agent is available, and no vaccine is available for preexposure protection.

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Anticonvulsant Agents

Class Summary

These agents prevent seizure recurrence and terminate clinical and electrical seizure activity.

Phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek)

 

Phenytoin may act in the motor cortex, where it may inhibit the spread of seizure activity. The activity of brain stem centers responsible for the tonic phase of grand mal seizures may also be inhibited.

Individualize the dose. Administer a larger dose before retiring if the dose cannot be divided equally. The rate of infusion must not exceed 50 mg per minute to avoid hypotension and arrhythmia.

Diazepam (Valium)

 

Diazepam depresses all levels of the CNS (eg, limbic, reticular formation), possibly by increasing the activity of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Alternatively, lorazepam can be used when indicated.

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Antipyretics

Class Summary

These agents are helpful in relieving the associated lethargy, malaise, and fever associated with the disease.

Acetaminophen (Acephen, Feverall, Tylenol)

 

Acetaminophen inhibits the action of endogenous pyrogens on heat-regulating centers. It reduces fever by a direct action on the hypothalamic heat-regulating centers, which, in turn, increases the dissipation of body heat via sweating and vasodilation.

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Contributor Information and Disclosures
Author

Folusakin O Ayoade, MD Clinical Fellow, Division of Infectious Diseases, LSU Health Science Center

Folusakin O Ayoade, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Physicians, American Medical Association, Infectious Diseases Society of America, Society of Hospital Medicine

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Coauthor(s)

Mohammad J Alam, MD Assistant Professor of Medicine, Departments of Internal Medicine, Infectious Disease, and Emergency Medicine, University Health, Louisiana State University School of Medicine in Shreveport; Affiliate Staff Physician, Department of Internal Medicine (Infectious Disease), Schumpert Medical Center

Mohammad J Alam, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Physicians, American Medical Association, Society of Critical Care Medicine, Southern Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Received salary from Medscape for employment. for: Medscape.

Joseph F John, Jr, MD, FACP, FIDSA, FSHEA Clinical Professor of Medicine, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine; Associate Chief of Staff for Education, Ralph H Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Joseph F John, Jr, MD, FACP, FIDSA, FSHEA is a member of the following medical societies: Charleston County Medical Association, Infectious Diseases Society of America, South Carolina Infectious Diseases Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Burke A Cunha, MD Professor of Medicine, State University of New York School of Medicine at Stony Brook; Chief, Infectious Disease Division, Winthrop-University Hospital

Burke A Cunha, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Chest Physicians, American College of Physicians, Infectious Diseases Society of America

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Wayne E Anderson, DO, FAHS, FAAN Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine/Neurology, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific Western University of Health Sciences; Clinical Faculty in Family Medicine, Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine; Clinical Instructor, Departments of Neurology and Pain Management, California Pacific Medical Center

Wayne E Anderson, DO, FAHS, FAAN is a member of the following medical societies: California Medical Association, American Headache Society, San Francisco Medical Society, San Francisco Medical Society, International Headache Society, California Neurology Society, San Francisco Neurological Society, American Academy of Neurology, California Medical Association

Disclosure: Received honoraria from Teva for speaking and teaching; Received grant/research funds from Allergan for other; Received honoraria from Insys for speaking and teaching; Received honoraria from DepoMed for speaking and teaching.

Norvin Perez, MD Medical Director, Juneau Urgent and Family Care

Norvin Perez, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Emergency Physicians, American Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Mary D Nettleman, MD, MS MACP, Professor and Chair, Department of Medicine, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Mary D Nettleman, MD, MS is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Physicians, Association of Professors of Medicine, Central Society for Clinical and Translational Research, Infectious Diseases Society of America, Society of General Internal Medicine

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Emad Fahmi Soliman, MD, MSc Consulting Staff, Department of Neurology, St John's Riverside Hospital

Emad Fahmi Soliman, MD, MSc is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Neurology, American Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Acknowledgements

The authors and editors gratefully acknowledge the contributions of previous authors Eleftherios Mylonakis, MD, and Eduardo Gotuzzo, MD, to the development and writing of the source article.

References
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  4. Sokol DK, Kleiman MB, Garg BP. LaCrosse viral encephalitis mimics herpes simplex viral encephalitis. Pediatr Neurol. 2001 Nov. 25(5):413-5. [Medline].

  5. Wurtz R, Paleologos N. La Crosse encephalitis presenting like herpes simplex encephalitis in an immunocompromised adult. Clin Infect Dis. 2000 Oct. 31(4):1113-4. [Medline].

  6. Hubalek Z, Sebesta O, Pesko J, Betasova L, Blazejova H, Venclikova K, et al. Isolation of Tahyna Virus (California Encephalitis Group) From Anopheles hyrcanus (Diptera, Culicidae), a Mosquito Species New to, and Expanding in, Central Europe. J Med Entomol. 2014 Nov 1. 51 (6):1264-7. [Medline].

  7. Jones TF, Erwin PC, Craig AS, Baker P, Touhey KE, Patterson LE, et al. Serological survey and active surveillance for La Crosse virus infections among children in Tennessee. Clin Infect Dis. 2000 Nov. 31 (5):1284-7. [Medline].

  8. de los Reyes EC, McJunkin JE, Glauser TA, Tomsho M, O'Neal J. Periodic lateralized epileptiform discharges in La Crosse encephalitis, a worrisome subgroup: clinical presentation, electroencephalogram (EEG) patterns, and long-term neurologic outcome. J Child Neurol. 2008 Feb. 23(2):167-72. [Medline].

  9. McJunkin JE, Khan R, de los Reyes EC, Parsons DL, Minnich LL, Ashley RG, et al. Treatment of severe La Crosse encephalitis with intravenous ribavirin following diagnosis by brain biopsy. Pediatrics. 1997 Feb. 99 (2):261-7. [Medline].

  10. Conti B, Benelli G, Leonardi M, Afifi FU, Cervelli C, Profeti R, et al. Repellent effect of Salvia dorisiana, S. longifolia, and S. sclarea (Lamiaceae) essential oils against the mosquito Aedes albopictus Skuse (Diptera: Culicidae). Parasitol Res. 2012 Jul. 111(1):291-9. [Medline].

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La Crosse virus transmission cycle. The virus is maintained by vertical transmission in Aedes triseriatus mosquitoes; the virus winters in infected eggs that are usually deposited in tree holes or in artificial containers holding rainwater. Horizontal transmission (by viral amplification in small vertebrates, eg, squirrels and chipmunks, and venereally among adult mosquitoes) is required to supplement vertical transmission. The role of deer in viral amplification is uncertain. Human infections are incidental to the transmission cycle.
Brain biopsy specimen from a 7-year-old boy with severe La Crosse encephalitis (hematoxylin and eosin stain, 200X). Perivascular infiltration with mononuclear cells is present on light microscopy. This biopsy material tested positively for La Crosse virus antigen on direct immunofluorescence assay.
Left image of a CT scan of an 8-year-old boy with severe La Crosse encephalitis complicated by uncal herniation (obtained on the second hospital day) reveals brain edema with associated obliteration of perimesencephalic cisterns (arrows). On the right, a T2-weighted magnetic resonance image obtained from a 7-year-old boy with severe La Crosse encephalitis shows focal areas of increased signal intensity in the right temporoparietal and left frontotemporal regions (arrows).
Range of California encephalitis cases reported in the United states from 2004-2013. Courtesy of CDC and ArboNET
La Crosse virus neuroinvasive disease cases reported by state, 2004-2013. Courtesy of CDC and ArboNET.
 
 
 
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