BECAUSE of the high mortality of Herpesvirus hominis encephalitis and recent data suggesting that treatment should be considered, the real incidence of this disease is now important. This incidence remains unknown. However, on the basis of our experience, herpesvirus encephalitis is relatively common.1,2
Nolan and co-workers1 concluded that patients with H hominis encephalitis who are in coma (unresponsive to all external stimuli) or are having convulsions have a poor prognosis. Conversely, patients who are not in coma and do not have convulsions may survive intact. Interest in the possibility of therapy has been stimulated by five recent reports of individual patients with herpesvirus encephalitis who received idoxuridine.3-7 Apparently, about 60% of untreated and variably selected patients die.8-13 Patients who recover may sustain severe, permanent, neurological deficits which include intellectual deterioration, dystonia, and motor weakness.
Characteristics have been reported of the general medical illnesses of