Central Nervous System Infections
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One of the rarest but potentially most serious of all infections encountered by the general practitioner is an infection involving the central nervous system (c.n.s.). Meningitis and encephalitis are two distinct entities; although an element of both is usually present, one predominates, and they are usually discussed separately in most medical textbooks. To the average family doctor meningitis, or suspicion of meningitis, is an easier diagnosis to reach because of its cardinal signs. Encephalitis, however, merges into the differential diagnosis of toxic confusional states, epilepsy, drug overdose and major psychiatric illnesses. Encephalitis is also occasionally included in the differential diagnosis of cerebral vascular accident (CVA) especially if the patient is febrile.
KeywordsInfluenza Meningitis Straw Encephalitis Measle
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