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Most of the viruses involved in causing encephalitis are arthropod-borne viruses, with the exception of arenaviruses that are rodent-borne. Even if little information is available, there are indications that, most of these encephalitis-associated viruses could be used by aerosolisation during a bioterrorist attack. Viral transfer from blood to the CNS through the olfactory tract has been suggested. Another possible route of contamination is by vector-borne transmission such as infected mosquitoes or ticks. Alphaviruses are the most likely candidates for weaponisation. The clinical course of the diseases caused by these viruses is usually not specific, but differentiation is possible by using an adequate diagnostic tool. There is no effective drug therapy for the treatment of these diseases and treatment is mainly supportive, but vaccines protecting against some of these viruses do exist.


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