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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 68  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 673--676

Enigma of Rabies: Prolonged Survival in a Boy with Rabies Brachial Plexitis and Encephalomyelitis

1 Department of Pediatrics, PGIMER, Chandigarh, India
2 Department of Radiodiagnosis, PGIMER, Chandigarh, India
3 Department of Neurovirology, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Meenu Singh
Department of Pediatrics, PGIMER, Chandigarh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0028-3886.288993

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Rabies encephalitis is a universally fatal disease. Prolonged survival in children with rabies encephalitis has only been anecdotally reported. Case report: An 11-year-old boy presented with right-handed paraesthesia followed by flaccid weakness, progressive quadriparesis and encephalopathy following an unprovoked, class III dog bite over the right wrist 1 month previously. He received five doses of the rabies vaccine as post exposure prophylaxis. Diagnosis of rabies encephalitis was supported by typical MRI brain and spine findings in addition to marked elevation of anti-rabies neutralizing antibody titers in serum and CSF. He was treated with supportive care, methylprednisolone, dexamethasone and simvastatin and was discharged after 6 weeks of hospital stay in a minimally conscious state, with tracheostomy and naso-gastric feeding tubes. At 9 months follow-up, his neurological status showed minimal improvement. Paralytic rabies with brachial plexitis and encephalomyelitis is an atypical presentation of rabies. Very few surviving cases have been reported from India. Survival from rabies is possible with effective clearing of virus with post exposure prophylaxis, but with severe neurological sequelae.


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