Powassan Meningoencephalitis: A Case Report Highlighting Diagnosis and Management

Cureus. 2021 Jul 23;13(7):e16592. doi: 10.7759/cureus.16592. eCollection 2021 Jul.


Powassan virus (POWV), a rare flavivirus that may be transmitted by a tick bite, causes rare but severe cases of encephalitis, meningitis, and meningoencephalitis in humans. We present the case of a 62-year-old man with prior Lyme disease and reactive arthritis who presented to the hospital with symptoms of fever, headache, and fatigue. The patient developed rapid deterioration of mental status including profound expressive aphasia and required intubation and high-dose steroids. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) serologies were found to be positive for the POWV.

Keywords: chronic lymphocytic leukemia; powassan virus; tick-borne flavivirus; viral encephalitis; viral meningitis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports