Encephalitis is a condition characterized by inflammation in the brain. One of the most common causes of the condition is viral infection. However, other microorganisms could also cause encephalitis. Viral infections are the most common cause of the condition. Encephalitis can also cause other flu like symptoms such as headaches, confusion and uncoordinated movements. A lot of cases of this condition go unnoticed because of the similarities between these flu symptoms and the symptoms of encephalitis. Though rare, encephalitis can become very severe and may take a life threatening turn in some cases. Encephalitis could also occur with meningitis and this is known as meningoencephalitis. If you suspect your flu like conditions but do not know what is encephalitis, discuss your symptoms with the doctor.