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Dengue Infection in Patients Presenting with Neurological Manifestations in a Dengue Endemic Population



The evaluation of the contribution of neurological dengue in suspected central nervous system (CNS) viral infections is essential to better understand the impact of neurological dengue on morbidity and mortality in dengue endemic regions such as Jamaica. For this study, 401 cases of suspected viral CNS infections were investigated for evidence of dengue infection. The frequency of neurological dengue among these CNS cases was found to be 13.5% (54/401). Fifty-three cases were confirmed serologically by haemagglutination inhibition assay (HI) and IgM antibody (ELISA) and the virus was isolated in one case only. Clinical manifestations among dengue positive CNS cases included encephalitis in 51.8% (28/54), meningitis in 33.3% (18/54), seizures in 11.1% (6/54) and acute flaccid paralysis/Guillain-Barré syndrome in 3.7% (2/54). The clinical diagnosis of dengue neurological infection corresponded with laboratory confirmation in 22.2% (12/54) of cases only. Deaths occurred in 3.7% (2/54) of cases and were associated with patients with dengue neurological infection. The high risk of dengue among patients with suspected viral CNS infections in this study supports the need for an increased index of suspicion of dengue in patients presenting with neurological manifestations in dengue endemic countries.

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e-Published: 23 Jul, 2013
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