Awful it is! A 60 years old man died due to a mysterious disease in Great Lakes regions of the United States. Now doctors have finally concluded the actual cause i.e. encephalitis caused by this Powassan virus.
Infectious diseases killed many people years ago, and doctors worked so dedicatedly to discover and test cures. But, there are some mysterious diseases that are hard to cure and reveal, the same case happened with a guy in the Great Lakes regions of the United States when a man was facing trouble in speaking and walking, he went to hospital where doctors soon suspected that he had a potentially life-threatening condition, swelling in his brain!
In order to identify the disease, they did several tests, typical culprits for brain inflammation. But the result was negative all the time. Now, it became too hard for them to figure out the cause and actual disease.
Even the case became that worst that doctors didn't discover the cause until after the man's death. Yes, it is quite sad and shocking but, according to the new report of the case; published on 19th March in the journal JAMA neurology the disease found is Powassan virus.
Powassan is a rare tick-borne disease caused by a virus. It can cause encephalitis means swelling in the brain and in the membranes around the brain and spinal cord.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) around 100 cases of Powassan virus infections have been reported in the United States in the last 10 years, and the disease can be life-threatening.
However the disease is so rare, therefore there is no ideal way to cure it. And this man’s case was even more complicated, said doctors.
It was the case from 2016 when a 60 years old man was suffering from lymphoma disease, which is a cancer of immune system. In order to cure the disease, he was taking a cancer medication (rituximab) that acts on his immune system.
The major problem occurred in December 2016, when the man was feeling sick and pain in his testicles. After the examination doctor found that he had inflammation issue; doctor gave him antibiotics.
Unfortunately, the antibiotics were not showing any positive results, even his condition was getting worse day by day. Even he was facing trouble in speaking, walking and in his arms also. Again doctors examined him and gave him three different antibiotics, suspecting that he had an infection causing inflammation in his brain (encephalitis).
But still, the man’s condition was not improving at all. He appeared to have a severe brain injury. An MRI also discovered that the man had excess fluid in his brain along with other signs of brain injury. Doctors tested the man for numerous infectious diseases, including Lyme disease, syphilis, toxoplasmosis, herpes, mumps, etc. But, all the tests were negative.
Unfortunately, the man’s condition continued to get critical, and he died after two weeks in the hospital, according to the report.
After his death, the doctors were still trying to figure out the exact disease and its cause. The employed different methods and tools to recognize the Powassan virus.
Out of all, metagenomic next-generation sequencing actually worked. It is a type of unbiased test (genetic test) in which doctors used DNA and RNA sample, to identify the cause.
Eventually, the researchers found genetic material from the virus i.e. Powassan and discovered that the man had died from encephalitis caused by this virus.
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