California Encephalitis Treatment & Management

Updated: May 14, 2021
  • Author: Folusakin O Ayoade, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Approach Considerations

No specific antiviral treatment for California encephalitis is approved at this time. Supportive care is therefore the mainstay of management. La Crosse virus has in vitro sensitivity to ribavirin, and treatment of one unusual case diagnosed with brain biopsy has been reported. [9]  Valinomycin, a potassium ionophore, exhibited activity against La Crosse virus in multiple cell types in a dose-dependent manner, suggesting a potential therapeutic target to disrupt virus replication. [10]  

Because neurologic complications are the most severe and closely linked to disease mortality, control of seizures and optimal neurologic support are vital components of management. Patient isolation during acute illness is unnecessary. Bed rest is always recommended until recovery.


No vaccines are available at this time.

Preventive measures include the following:

  • Insect repellents
  • Mosquito control by controlling the breeding sites, including elimination of manufactured containers and use of spray insecticides.
  • Wearing long sleeves for outdoor activities
  • Mosquito prevention techniques, possibly including the repellant effect of certain essential oils [11]