August 23, 2012 by EmerJencyWEBB
For my emergency medicine colleagues, add this on to your differential in the next month or two when working up patients with fever, headache, neck stiff, fatigue. The CDC reports the number of cases seen this year in the U.S. is the most on record so far, and August seems to be the peak season for this bug. Hopefully most of these patients will end up doing well with supportive treatment, but there have been some deaths reported, associated with the disease.
The cases reported to the CDC as of Tuesday total 1,118, including 41 deaths. That number rose to 42 on Wednesday when a death was reported in Arkansas.
At the end of this post, you’ll find some helpful links to the IDSA guidelines (summary table below) for workup and management of encephalitis as well as the CDC clinician recommendations.
From the IDSA Guidelines: