Severe West Nile Virus Disease in Healthy Adults

Emig, Mimi; Apple, Douglas J.
January 2004
Clinical Infectious Diseases;1/15/2004, Vol. 38 Issue 2, p289
Academic Journal
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.


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