Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a mosquito-borne alphavirus that is endemic to parts of Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and more recently the Caribbean. Patients typically present with fever, rash, and arthralgias, though neurologic symptoms, primarily encephalitis, have been described. We report the case of a 47-year-old woman who was clinically diagnosed with CHIKV while traveling in the Dominican Republic and presented 10 days later with left lower extremity weakness, a corresponding enhancing thoracic spinal cord lesion, and positive CHIKV serologies. She initially responded to corticosteroids, followed by relapsing symptoms and gradual clinical improvement. The time lapse between acute CHIKV infection and the onset of myelopathic sequelae suggests an immune-mediated phenomenon rather than direct activity of the virus itself. Chikungunya virus should be considered in the differential diagnosis of myelopathy in endemic areas. The progression of symptoms despite corticosteroid administration suggests more aggressive immunomodulatory therapies may be warranted at disease onset.
- Infectious myelopathy
- Viral myelopathy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience