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Key Features

  • Arenavirus infection of CNS

  • Main reservoir is house mouse, but other animals may harbor virus

  • Virus is spread from animal to human by infected oronasal secretions, urine, or feces

  • Person-to-person spread is rare

Clinical Findings

  • Symptoms are biphasic with a prodromal phase followed by a meningeal phase

  • Fever, chills, headache, myalgia, cough, and vomiting, occasionally with lymphadenopathy and maculopapular rash in prodromal phase

  • Headache, vomiting, lethargy, and variably present meningeal signs in the meningeal phase

  • Obstructive hydrocephalus is a rare but serious complication

  • Arthralgias can develop late

Diagnosis

  • Leukocytosis or leukopenia

  • Cerebrospinal fluid lymphocytic pleocytosis common

  • Complement-fixing antibodies appear during second week of infection and may aid in diagnosis

Treatment

  • No specific antiviral therapy

  • Supportive measures

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