Encephalitis outbreak due to herpesvirus in Darjeeling Hills, India

In the last 24 hours, the Darjeeling Sadar Hospital has admitted 100 patients with symptoms of encephalitis. Some of the patients have positive lab tests for encephalitis caused by herpes virus. However, it is not clear if there are other viruses, such as Japanese encephalitis virus, that might be involved. There have been 3 deaths in the past 3 weeks.

Herpes viruses can cause form of encephalitis (brain inflammation) that can be fatal if not treated promptly. Many of the early symptoms are flu-like (headache, dizziness, vomiting), causing a missed diagnosis and a delay in treatment. Travellers to this area who develop flu-like symptoms should seek medical care at once to ensure they are not developing encephalitis.

Visit our Health Library for more information on exposure to and the prevention of Encephalitis.

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