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BMJ Case Rep. 2019 Nov 10;12(11). pii: e231645. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2019-231645.

Powassan virus encephalitis, severe babesiosis and lyme carditis in a single patient.

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Internal Medicine, Albany Medical Center Hospital, Albany, New York, USA
Internal Medicine, Albany Medical Center Hospital, Albany, New York, USA.


Ixodes scapularis is responsible for transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi, B. miyamotoi, Babesia microti, Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Powassan virus to humans. We present a case of an 87-year-old man who presented with fever and altered mental status. Initial workup revealed haemolytic anaemia, thrombocytopenia, mild hepatitis and acute kidney injury. Patient tested positive for B. burgdorferi and Babesia microti, and was started on doxycycline, atovaquone and azithromycin. He also underwent exchange transfusion twice. After some initial improvement, patient had acute deterioration of mental status and appearance of neurological findings like myoclonus and tremors. Therefore, testing for arboviruses was done and results were positive for Powassan virus. During a protracted course of hospitalisation, patient required intubation for respiratory failure and temporary pacemaker for unstable arrythmias from Lyme carditis. Patient developed permanent neurological deficits even after recovery from the acute illness.


arrhythmias; haematology (incl blood transfusion); infection (neurology); infectious diseases; intensive care


Conflict of interest statement

Competing interests: None declared.

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