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Rabies is readily diagnosed when it presents as the classic furious form. Paralytic and atypical forms can pose significant problems in diagnosis. Catastrophic incidents included 7 organ transplant recipients who died of rabies recently in United States and Germany. Although rabies remains top in the lists of differential diagnosis of encephalitis in rabies endemic area, its complication may divert physicians from making a relevant management. We encountered an unusual case of paralytic rabies who presented with spontaneous pneumomediastinum.
Spontaneous pneumomediastinum can be a rare complication of rabies. It may lead clinicians to perform inappropriate treatment, particularly when phobic spasms are not present and agitation is not prominent. High level of awareness of rabies in any patient with confusion albeit subtle or with any obscure neurological presentations such as difficulty swallowing with no identifiable causes must be borne in mind.
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