How does the incidence of encephalitis vary by age?

Updated: Aug 07, 2018
  • Author: David S Howes, MD; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Answer

Individuals at the extremes of age are at highest risk, particularly for HSE. Neonatal HSE is a manifestation of disseminated infection type 1 or 2, whereas older infants, children, and adults are much more likely to have localizing CNS infection almost exclusively due to type 1, in a bimodal distribution of patients aged 5-30 years or older than 50 years.

St Louis encephalitis and WNE are more common and are most severe in patients older than 60 years; conversely, LAC is more common and is most severe in children younger than 16 years. EEE and WEE disproportionately affect infants while EEE disproportionately affects children and elderly persons.


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