Detect encephalitis in patients with chikungunya

Detect encephalitis in patients with chikungunya

Meanwhile, neurological complications after chikungunya are seen in 4% to 16% of patients, either in clinics as emergency interconsultations or in the Intensive Care Unit.

The encephalitis is inflammation of the brain caused by a viral infection. In this case, due to the chikungunya virus, which usually presents symptoms such as headache, severe body aches, difficulty moving due to pain on the bottoms of the feetespecially when walking due to the sensation of burns that patients manifest, being more serious after 65 years of age.

Prof. Dr. Martha Sady Galeano, Head of Neurologya, explained that encephalitis manifests with behavioral disturbances, drowsiness, delusions, or acute confusional syndromeIn addition, it usually presents a picture called status epilepticus in which the seizures do not subside and the patient requires hospitalization in intensive care, they can even reach a comatose state, being the most serious.

The diagnosis is made based on the clinical history that generally already comes with the symptoms of fever. “This is a serious complication because the patient can be left with a significant disability not only of the members but also cognitive, and the most serious is the secondary epilepsy sequel that begins to develop from that moment and persist for the rest of his life,” he said.

The neurologist spoke about the warning signs or red flags to take into account, which is when the patient begins to falling asleep or having seizures, dehydration, or difficulty communicating. “In these cases, the patient must be evaluated urgently, or if paralysis appears in the legs or progressive weakness with tingling in the legs and arms, then other conditions must be ruled out, such as Guillain Barré syndrome or myelitis, which is inflammation of the spinal cord. Inflammation of both the brain and the spinal cord can also occur, known as acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, which is a serious condition and is also seen in the context of this type of virus, ”he warned.

Encephalitis can occur in both children and adults, in fact, patients at risk are infants under one year of age and patients over 60 years of age with comorbidities such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, immunocompromised patients receiving an immunosuppressant drug or patients who have an immunological or oncological disease, risk factors that complicate the disease.

Likewise, he asserted that encephalitis can be treated and is applied pharmacological therapy with methylprednisolone, corticosteroids and immunoglobulinsfollowed by physical rehabilitation, if necessary.


The scheduling is done in person at the Secretary of the Department of Adult Neurology, which, like the offices and the Day Hospital, is located on the ground floor of the main hospitalization building of the Hospital de Clínicas. External consultations are carried out from Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis.

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The entrance Detect encephalitis in patients with chikungunya was first published on newspaper TODAY.

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