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Papers of the Week

2021 May

Perm J


Deadly Neuroinvasive Mosquito-Borne Virus: A Case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis.


Millet N, Faiek S, Gurrieri D, Kals K, Adams W, Hamaty E, Trivedi M, Zeidwerg D
Perm J. 2021 May; 25.
PMID: 33970094.


Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) is a rare and potentially fatal neuroinvasive disease with a high mortality rate of > 30%. It is an uncommon vector-borne illness, with an average of 8 cases reported in the United States annually. Alarmingly, in 2019 alone, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed 38 cases of EEE virus in the United States, reported from 10 states. In this report, we describe a 42-year-old man who worked primarily in wooded areas and presented to a hospital in southern New Jersey with an intractable headache and global facial paraesthesia. He reported multiple tick bites in the weeks prior to his presentation. Based on high clinical suspicion, cerebrospinal samples were sent to the CDC, which confirmed the diagnosis of EEE. The patient was treated with supportive care, and, after spending 9 days on mechanical ventilation in the intensive care unit, he was extubated and subsequently had some improvement of his symptoms with the implementation of an extensive physical therapy program. We hope this report will contribute to increasing awareness among the public health and medical communities regarding the increasing number of EEE cases and the importance of following prevention measures, especially in areas with high prevalence and early recognition of the disease for treatment.