(CNN)Justin Bieber announced Friday that he is taking a break from performing because he is suffering from paralysis on one side of his face.
In a video posted on his verified Instagram account, the singer explained that he has Ramsay Hunt syndrome, which has left him unable to move half of his face and unable to take the stage.
“It is from this virus that attacks the nerve in my ear and my facial nerves and has caused my face to have paralysis,” he said in the video. “As you can see this eye is not blinking. I can’t smile on this side of my face; this nostril will not move. So there’s full paralysis on this side of my face.”
Links for Ramsay Hunt Syndrome after mRNA Vaccine
Ramsay-Hunt syndrome typically manifests with a vesicular rash on the concha and external auditory canal associated with peripheral facial paralysis. This is caused by reactivation of latent varicella-zoster virus within the geniculate ganglion, in association with factors that influence immunosuppression, including immunosenescence.
We recently assessed a female patient at our centre who exhibited symptoms consistent with Ramsay-Hunt syndrome following administration of the COVID-19 vaccine. At the time of writing, we are not aware of any other published cases of a similar nature, just herpes zoster reactivation in other locations1, 2, 3 and Bell’s palsy4, 5, which is why we wanted to warn of this possibility. Our patient is a 78-year-old woman with a history of childhood poliomyelitis with sequelae in the lower limbs, as well as untreated arterial hypertension.
Three days after receiving the BNT162b2 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech), she began to experience instability, general malaise, nausea and severe pain in the external auditory canal and right half of the cranium. She attended A&E where she underwent a range of tests, including blood tests, a PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 and a brain CT scan. She was initially diagnosed with flu-like symptoms in the context of vaccination. However, she returned to A&E two days later due to a worsening of her symptoms and decreased right-sided facial motility. Examination revealed vesicles and crusted lesions on the concha of the right ear and House-Brackmann grade IV right peripheral facial paralysis, a left horizontal-rotatory nystagmus and gait instability falling to the right side. Audiometry revealed bilateral sensorineural hearing loss that was more pronounced in the right ear (the findings in the left ear were consistent with presbycusis). Video Head Impulse Test (V-HIT) identified vestibular hypofunction of the right ear (gain of 0.43). Two weeks later, the patient’s instability and sensorineural hearing loss, particularly in the right ear, persisted, accompanied by a very slight improvement in facial paralysis.
We recently diagnosed Ramsay Hunt syndrome (RHS) in a 37-year-old previously healthy man. Two days after his first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT162b2) vaccine, he noticed fever and a pain in the right ear. Vesicles were then developed in his right ear and canal, together with vertigo, tinnitus and loss of hearing. He complained of facial palsy, tongue numbness and dysgeusia.
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