I am a 41 year old female who spent two weeks in the Ivory Coast of W. Africa in 1996. Upon returning I had stroke-like symptoms (slowed speech, slowed gate, slowed thinking) and was subsequently diagnosed with viral meningitis/encephalitis. Ruled out Lymes, malaria (via smear), CSF was elevated WBC, Lymphocytes. Symptoms resolved within eight days with the exception of bilat leg weakness, such as the inability to lift my legs into the car, and severe fatigue.
I returned to the Ivory Coast for the last four years, each in February. The only resulting illness was pneumonia in 1998 with a resulting bronchospasm and emergency evacuation by the French military. No respiratory problems since.
However, for the past year, I have had increasing bilat leg weakness, hypertension, severe insomnia, to the point of barely being able to climb stairs. I have had an extensive neurological workup, inlcuding a week at the Cleveland Clinic. They had an initial diagnosis of LEMS but discharged witih no diagnosis. MRI's are negative, no lesions, no MS. No Myopathy. No ALS. VERY extensive lab work (including ANA, lupus, etc) was all negative except CK levels were mildly elevated at 300. EMG's were also negative. The only other thing that has happened is that every six months, for the last two years, I have had an episode lasting 2-3 days of neurological slowness again. CSF again showes elevated WBC, Lymphocytes, and ologinical bands. No protein, no glucose. Diagnosis is always viral meningitis with a discharge to home. Heperpes and Aids have also been negative.
Is there a chance that I could have resulting damage from viral meningitis/encephalitis, or a continued infection that has not been discovered? Also, there was a massive meningitis epidemic when I was there each time (X4) and received multiple mosquito bites even with prevention.