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A 58-year-old lady with waxing and waning of non-specific symptoms including fatigue, dizziness, hearing loss and unsteady gait for 15 months, became acutely confused 12 h prior to presentation. On admission to a district hospital she was feverish and unresponsive. Her travel history consisted of visits to Argentina, Chile and the Outer Hebrides. CT of the brain was normal. Lumbar puncture demonstrated a lymphocytic pleocytosis of 500 cells, protein of 1 g/l, a low glucose ratio with negative cytology and viral PCR (including herpes simplex 1 and 2). MRI revealed multiple abnormal areas of high signal on T2 fluid attenuated inversion recovery sequencing within the cerebellum, temporal lobes and periventricular areas. Western blotting of serum and cerebrospinal fluid for Borrelia burgdoferi were both positive. She was treated with cefuroxime and aciclovir and within 24 h she was alert and responsive. She received 4 weeks of cefuroxime in total and made a good recovery.