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A 75-year- old man was referred to hospital with a 24 hour history of severe neck pain, associated with fever, rigors and mild confusion. The pain radiated into his arms and was exacerbated by neck movements. Eight days prior to admission he had developed loose stools for 3 days. There was no history of trauma, and no other features of meningism. He gave a past history of ischemic heart disease and atrial fibrillation for which he was taking warfarin. Examination revealed a pyrexia of 38.3c. There was tenderness over the cervical spine but no other positive findings. Neurological examination was unremarkable.

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