COVID-19 encephalopathy: an unusual presentation with new-onset seizure causing convulsive status epilepticus

Document Type

Case Report


Internal Medicine


Although neurological manifestations such as headache and myalgias have been observed with COVID-19, presentation with more serious neurological illness is uncommon and rare. We report a case of a middle-aged woman who presented to the emergency department of a tertiary care hospital. Her clinical presentation was primarily neurological rather than the more common presentation with respiratory manifestations. She presented with generalised tonic-clonic seizures, along with history of undocumented low-grade fever and generalised body aches. The positive SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR nasal swab, the cerebrospinal fluid analysis (lymphocytic pleocytosis) and electroencephalogram were consistent with viral encephalitis; brain imaging was unremarkable. This case highlights the variable presenting features of COVID-19 infection as patients can primarily present with neurological manifestations in the absence of significant respiratory symptoms. We believe it is important to recognise neurological disease associated with SARS-CoV-2 in patients with asymptomatic respiratory infection


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Publication (Name of Journal)

BMJ case reports