Anyone know what is the reoccurence rate of Encephalitis, if any

This topic came up yesterday and now I am just wondering if it is possible to get the same type of Encephalitis more than 1 time. I would think you would always have it and it would lay dormant and take something to trigger it but now am wondering if anyone has developed it 2 or more times. TIA

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I haven't had a relapse but I know you can get one from Herpes Simplex Encephalitis because it is the herpes virus which also caues the chicken pox, cold sores and shingles.


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Hello Nubbsy,
This is a question you really can't ask.
You'd have to ask about a particular illness.

This question comes up all the time here
and even for many of the particular illnesses, you may not get any sort of answer.

However - 99% of the time (not an official number), what people think are "relapses" are really the results of stress.
Stress from some other illness/infection or stress from trying to do too much or stress from people not being understanding.

For example - if someone had some sort of disease and that disease brought about encephalitis, and that person;s ecperience with that disease was an extreme fever, then a relapse would look like the initial disease state - not just an increase - or really a decrease - in the functional aspect of the person.

But to discuss - relapse - you need to discuss the specific disease.

Someone with Syphilis treated with antibiotics would have a near zero chance of a relapse - yet someone with chronic meningitis would have a 99% chance of relapse.

If you are referring to Herpes Simplex - 1 Encephalitis;
Over the years, the continuing story we get here from the medical world is you have the same chance of getting it a second time as you did the first time - having it once does not make it any more likely you will get it again.
So, if your chance was 1 in 100000000 - then your chance is 1 in 100000000 the second time.

People do get it twice - people win the lottery twice too.

Now where that information is different is - when someone is in the hospital (again we are talking HSE-1) and taken off the anti viral. We have had a lot - well, some reports, where a "medical relapse" that means the doctors called it a relapse - has happened. But that is in a close time bracket to the original hospitalization.

Again - from my point of view, the KEY THING to consider if you think the person is having a "relapse" is - are they having the same symptoms they had during the original illness - if that was a febrile illness, then are they experiencing a raging fever?

Its a good question and one of the most popular ones asked here.

we have had people who have had encephalitis more than once.

so - it happens

It could happen to you or your loved one

its a rare event - around a rare disease state

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Well spoken reply.

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Thanks for the response Dannon. I sort of figured it was something along those lines and figured it could/would happen again. I guess I was just wondering if anyone here experienced it more than once. We started out with a headache & seizures so now of course everytime DS says he has a headache I start to panic!!

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... docs tell methat they THINK!! that I cannot get west nile meningoencephalitis again, but since they have not been much help to me these last 7 years or so, I still stay away from any bugs!! Lisa

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It's a question we have all asked our Doctors. I for one asked could I get HSVE again? My Doctors reassured me I wouldn't & It would be highly unlikely. You should have seen my reaction when I got my first cold sore after HSVE. I totally over reacted but my caring Doctor sat me down and explained the virus and gave me cream for my lip. I only had a cold sore from a sunburnt lip and all was gone within the week.
Hey, I'd rather win lotto next time !!
Cheers Sandy

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I had Herpes Simplex Encephalitis twice, the first time in September 2007 and then again in July 2008. I now take a 'maintenance dose' of Aciclovir twice a day.

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Anxiety about relapse neatly tore me apart. It's not worth worrying about

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My Neurologist told me that it is impossible to have a reaccurance. He said that the "Virus" is actually active for approximately 6 to 8 weeks, that is when it does its damage to our brain. Anything after that, are the brain fog, brain damage, and all other residuals. At times you feel like you are having a reaccurance....I thought I was when I finally found the right Neurologist, who was able to clinically diagnose me with Viral Menengo-encephalitis. 2 for one! For the first 2 years, the worst symptoms occur from the brain damage, nerve damage and chemical damage. As the years go by, your brain can make new connections to info, and you can feel better. However, the best thing is to get a great Neuro, who will replace thru medication.....the chemicals that were robbed during the encephalitis attack on your brain...that will help you feel better. Good Luck. Love and best wishes, Jo

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Very well thought out and explained. You would make a great teacher and your list contribution is wonderful.

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My daughter, Amanda (in the picture), had E 5 years ago. During her recovery, she had an appointment with her dentist, and we talked to him about her E. He said that it just didn't happen, and if it did, it was VERY rare, like lightning striking twice. This really helped us feel better because we were worried about it reoccuring.

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