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J Med Virol. 2016 Nov;88(11):1856-61. doi: 10.1002/jmv.24545. Epub 2016 Apr 20.

Outcomes of West Nile encephalitis patients after 1 year of West Nile encephalitis outbreak in Kerala, India: A follow-up study.

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National Institute of Virology-Kerala Unit, Government T. D. Medical College Hospital, Vandanam, Alappuzha, Kerala, India.
Epidemiology Group, National Institute of Virology, Pune, India.


We reported an acute encephalitis syndrome outbreak in Alappuzha district in Kerala, India during the year 2011. The etiology was confirmed to be West Nile virus lineage 1. Many encephalitis patients from this outbreak exhibited neurological sequelae post recovery. This study was aimed to assess the clinical outcomes of West Nile encephalitis confirmed case-patients after 1 year of acute illness. Forty West Nile virus confirmed encephalitis patients were selected from the 2011 outbreak was included in this study. Out of 40 cases, only 30 survived after 12 months. Among these 30 recovered case-patients, 27 (90%) consented for clinical follow-up and 23 (73.67%) of them consented for assessment of cognitive impairment and deposition of blood sample for antibody testing. The most common symptom observed in these patients was fatigue (25.93%). Other symptoms included dizziness (7.4%), decreased sense of hearing (7.4%) and decreased sense of smell (7.4%). Reduced power in limbs was found in 33.33% of the cases. Most of the patients (23.1%) were dependent on others for normal daily living activities. The patients also had probable risk of poor cognition (29.41%) and dementia (57.14%). None of the patients were positive for WNV specific IgM at 12 months post onset of disease. The study concluded that the long-term sequelae were noticed in WNV positive patients. Prevention effort should be focused on the elderly (≥60 years old) people who have a higher risk of severe sequelae. The state health authorities should create awareness among people in order to prevent the transmission of disease. J. Med. Virol. 88:1856-1861, 2016.


India; West Nile encephalitis; West Nile virus; outcomes

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