Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
The diagnosis is usually made by performing a spinal tap.
A CT scan or MRI of the brain can also be helpful but usually is only done in addition to the spinal tap.
Treatment depends on identifying the underlying cause. If bacteria are causing the infection, then antibiotics are indicated.
Anyone experiencing symptoms of encephalitis or meningitis should
see a doctor immediately.
Depending on the organism causing the infection, close contacts can also get sick and need to be evaluated by a health care
Basic methods that help to prevent the spread of infections (hand washing and covering ones mouth when
coughing) can also help prevent the spread of some forms of meningitis.
Being up to date on vaccinations will help prevent certain forms of meningitis.
What is encephalitis?
Encephalitis is brain inflammation. There are many types of encephalitis, most of which are caused by infections. Most often these infections are caused by viruses. In addition to infections, encephalitis can also be caused by certain diseases that result in an inflammation of the brain.
What causes encephalitis?
Encephalitis is a rare condition that is caused most often by viruses. The leading cause of severe encephalitis is the herpes simplex virus. The very young and the elderly are more likely to have a severe case.
Exposure to viruses can occur through breathing in respiratory droplets from infected people, certain
insect bites, and direct skin contact.
Reviewed by William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR on 6/18/2012
Fungal Meningitis and Steroid Injections: a Health-Care Disease
A new health-care-related disease has been identified by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The disease is fungal meningitis caused by fungal-contaminated steroid injections. While it is not new per se, it was newly found to be health-care-related because the disease is linked to a treatment known as epidural steroid injections, a treatment designed to reduce pain and inflammation in a person's back. According to the CDC, a company, the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass., produced about 17,000 vials of methyl prednisolone acetate that were eventually determined to be likely contaminated by a fungus that rarely causes meningeal infections (infections of the lining tissue of the brain and spinal cord).