Journal Article

Severe West Nile Virus Disease in Healthy Adults

Mimi Emig and Douglas J. Apple

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 38, issue 2, pages 289-292
Published in print January 2004 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online January 2004 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/380458
Severe West Nile Virus Disease in Healthy Adults

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The inpatient records of 44 case patients with West Nile virus infection hospitalized in 2002 were reviewed. Sixty-five percent of the case patients had encephalitis, and 35% had aseptic meningitis. There was no significant difference in the distribution of aseptic meningitis versus encephalitis among adults aged ⩽50 years compared with adults aged ⩾65 years. Focal weakness, likely due to anterior horn cell involvement, was present in 10 case patients (overall rate, 23%; rate among patients with encephalitis, 34%). Case patients with focal weakness who were aged ⩽50 years had monoparesis, whereas those aged ⩾65 years had paraparesis or quadriparesis. The overall mortality rate was 14%, and the mortality rate in patients aged ⩾65 years was 35%. Increased age was associated with an increased mortality rate. The presence of paraparesis or quadriparesis was not independently predictive of mortality.

Journal Article.  2529 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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