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 professional.
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.
Fungal meningitis is treated with long courses of high dose antifungal medications, usually given through an IV line in the hospital. The length of treatment depends on the status of the immune system and the type of fungus that caused the infection. For people with immune systems that do not function well because of other conditions, like AIDS, diabetes, or cancer, treatment is often longer.