Doctors at Udaipur's Geetanjali Hospital in Udaipur came across a rare case of Covid Encephalitis.
A 30 year old male from Sagwada complained of fever and body ache followed by repeated episodes of seizures. He was admitted at a local hospital but due to lack of improvement he was referred to Geetanjali at Udaipur. When he was brought to the casualty ward, he was drowsy, speechless and was having repeated seizures. He was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit under the care of Neurologist, Dr Anis Jukkarwala.
Anti-seizure drugs were administered immediately to successfully stop the seizures and immediate investigations of blood, urine, X-ray and special investigations like CSF through Lumbar puncture and MRI brain were performed. Based on the results, the team diagnosed a possibility of Brain Encephalitis. HRCT of the patient suggested possibility of COVID19 infections so an immediate RT-PCR was conducted, which was Positive. This was a case of Covid Encephalitis, as confirmed by Dr. Anis Jukkarwala. The COVID19 team under the supervision of Dr. Anis Jukkarwala managed his critical condition with all modern equipments, antibiotics, dialysis and specialized nursing care.
As a very few cases of COVID Encephalitis have been reported from across the world, there wasn’t any exact medicine or recommended protocol with the team at GMCH to manage this rare case of Encephalitis due to COVID-19, which was challenge. As per Dr Jukkerwala, the team took the situation head-on and with committment and experience supporting the team members the situation was assessed and drugs were administered. The patient responded well to the treatment and achieved normal health, following which he was tested for COVID19. The report was Negative and the patient was discharged in good health.
Encephalitis is a disease characterized by inflammation of the brain, most commonly caused by a viral infection. There are very few reports of COVID Encephalitis in recent global medical literature. Although the primary target of COVID-19 is the respiratory system, it is increasingly being recognized as a Neuropathogen. According to available reports, it may affect the nervous system in two different ways - direct injury to cells or activation of altered immune system producing inflammation and Edema in brain. Since there is no available specific drug against Covid-19, the treatment is still largely supportive at present. Based on such & few other reported cases elsewhere, it may still be presumed that rarely COVID19 may involve other systems of body directly without producing respiratory symptoms.