Herpes simplex encephalitis


A form of encephalitis caused by the herpes simplex virus and characterized by fever, headache and neurological symptoms.


  • Fever 
  • Headache 
  • Behavior disturbances 
  • Personality changes 
  • Focal seizures 
  • Malaise 
  • Anorexia 
  • Focal neurological deficits 
  • Muscle weakness on one side of body 
  • Dysphasia 
  • Cranial nerve deficits 
  • Stupor 
  • Increased protein level in cerebrospinal fluid 
  • Increased number of lymphocytes in blood 
  • Red blood cells in cerebrospinal fluid 
  • Temporal lobe swelling


Genital herpes is usually caused by infection with herpes simplex virus Type 2, but some studies report increasing incidence of infection with herpes simplex virus Type 1. This disease is typically transmitted through sexual intercourse, orogenital sexual activity, kissing, and hand-to-body contact. Pregnant women may transmit the infection to neonates during vaginal delivery if an active infection is present. Such transmitted infection may be localized (for instance, in the eyes) or disseminated and may be associated with central nervous system involvement. An estimated 86 million people worldwide are thought to have genital herpes.