Medical intervention varies greatly depending on the cause of the encephalitis. In most cases just treating the symptoms are the best a hospital can do. There are a limited number of antivirals that are effective in many cases.
Doctors may sometimes start by examining the cerebrospinal fluid of a patient through a spinal tape.
A spinal tap or lumbar puncture is when a needle is carefully inserted into the spinal cord low in the back area. Fluid is drawn out for examination.
In a number of encephalitis patients however, the spinal tap may be normal.