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Herpes Simplex Encephalitis

Herpes Simplex encephalitis is one of the most serious complications of herpes simplex disease. There are two forms:

Neonatal – there is global involvement and the brain is almost liquefied. The mortality rate approaches 100%.

Focal disease – the temporal lobe is most commonly affected. This form of the disease appears in children and adults. It is possible that many of these cases arise from reactivation of virus. The mortality rate is high (70%) without treatment.

It is of utmost importance to make a diagnosis of HSE early. It is general practice that IV acyclovir is given in all cases of suspected HSE before laboratory results are available.

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