Author(s): Pellot AS, Alessandri JL, Robin S, Sampriz S, Attali T, , Pellot AS, Alessandri JL, Robin S, Sampriz S, Attali T,
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Abstract In 2005-2006, an unexpected, massive outbreak of chikungunya occurred on Reunion Island, a French overseas territory in the Indian Ocean. This arboviral infection transmitted by a mosquito of the Aedes genus is usually benign. A surprising feature of the Reunion Island epidemic was the occurrence of rare severe forms involving adults as well as children. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this report is to describe severe forms of chikungunya observed in children hospitalized in a pediatric intensive care unit. PATIENTS AND METHODS: This retrospective single-center study was conducted from January 1st to April 30th, 2006. Children between 1 month and 15 years admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit with proven chikungunya infection were included. RESULTS: A total of 9 children were included. The main manifestations were extensive skin blisters in 5 cases, neurological symptoms (encephalopathy) in 4, cardiac complications (myocarditis, hemodynamic disorders) in 5 and bleeding in 1. Two children died. The causes of death were circulatory failure associated with coma and massive hemorrhage in one case and post-infectious encephalitis in the other. Three survivors present long-term neurologic or dermatologic sequels. DISCUSSION: Severe cases of chikungunya in children provide a stark reminder of the cardiac and neurological tropism of the virus and its hemorrhagic forms with high potential mortality and morbidity. These cases underline the need for personal protection measures and for research to develop specific antiviral therapy and vaccines to prevent potentially lethal forms of the disease.
This article was published in Med Trop (Mars)
and referenced in Journal of Neuroinfectious Diseases