Testing & Diagnosis for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in Children

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Contact the Division of Infectious Diseases

How is Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) diagnosed?

  • Blood tests. Someone who is infected with EEE will have an increased level of antibodies in their blood. Antibodies are proteins produced by the immune system that attack foreign substances such as viruses and bacteria. Increased levels of antibodies are a sign that your immune system is fighting the virus.  
  • A CT scan produces detailed, cross-sectional images of the brain. The results from a CT scan can rule out other possible diseases that may be causing inflammation.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is another procedure that takes detailed X-ray images of the brain to help detect brain inflammation.
  • A lumbar puncture (spinal tap) may be used to take a small sample of cerebral spinal fluid to determine if a child has EEE or other problems.
  • An electroencephalogram (EEG) can be used to detect small seizures in the brain that may not be obvious from watching the person. An EEG works by recording the brain's continuous electrical activity using stickers attached to the scalp that measure electrical activity.
  • A needle biopsy may be used to take a sample of brain tissue to determine the underlying cause of the inflammation.
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