An important message regarding the current COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to read more.

West Nile VIrus


Step 1: View clinicals

An 81 year old man presents with fever, chills, rigors and myalgia for 3 days. He also complains of tremors in his hands, weakness of his lower limbs, and difficulty in walking for the same duration. His family members noted progressive changes in his behaviour since a day ago. He had gone camping in South Dakota 2 weeks prior to the onset of these symptoms. His medical history is significant for diabetes, atrial flutter and sick sinus syndrome for 30 years, with pacemaker implantation. He drinks socially, is not on any recreational drugs, and is not sexually promiscuous.

Step 2: Order all relevant investigations

Lumbar Puncture

Appearance: clear WBC: 24/mm3 (0-5) Neutrophils: 81% Protein: 68 mg/dL (18-58) Glucose: 64 mg/dL (50-80) Gram stain: negative; preliminary culture reports will be available in 24 hours. Blood sent for CSF tests for varicella, herpes, syphilis, Epstein-Barr virus, Cytomegalovirus, and Cryptococcal antigens. Results pending.

MRI Spine & Brain

You recall that a cardiac pacemaker has been implanted in this patient, and realize that MRI is contraindicated.

CT Brain

No abnormalities detected.

Stool Cultures

Stool microscopy and antigen levels are negative for routine bacterial, viral and enteric parasites. Stool cultures are sent for detection of antibodies of poliovirus. Reports will be available in 24 hours.

Step 3: Select appropriate management

IV Acyclovir
IV Dexamethasone
Immune Gamma Globulins

Score: ★★☆