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Notice to Readers: Request for Information About Acute Encephalopathy Cases in Children with Influenza

Since the mid-1990s, approximately 150 cases of acute encephalopathy have been reported in Japanese children with influenza virus infection (1). These cases have been characterized by fever and rapid onset of encephalopathy and resulted in a high frequency of neurologic sequelae and death. Most of the children have had laboratory-confirmed evidence of influenza.

To determine if a similar pattern of influenza-associated encephalopathy cases is occurring in the United States, CDC is requesting information on any case meeting certain criteria. The criteria include a person aged <18 years with altered mental status or personality change lasting >24 hours and occurring within 5 days of the onset of an acute febrile respiratory illness, laboratory or rapid diagnostic test evidence of acute influenza virus infection associated with the respiratory illness, and diagnosis of the condition in the United States.

Cases that have occurred after December 31, 1997, can be reported to Tim Uyeki (telephone 404-639-0277 or e-mail tuyeki@cdc.gov) or Jim Sejvar (telephone 404-639-4657 or e-mail zea3@cdc.gov) at CDC. The information will be used to determine if additional investigation is warranted.

Reference

  1. Morishima T, Togashi T, Yokota S, et al. Encephalitis and encephalopathy associated with an influenza pandemic in Japan. Clin Infect Dis 2002;35:512--7.

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