West Nile virus (WNV)

FOR UP TO DATE INFORMATION  GO TO THE CDC WEBSITE BELOW

 

https://www.cdc.gov/westnile/symptoms/index.html

 

WNV is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States.  It is most commonly spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. Cases of WNV occur during mosquito season, which starts in the summer and continues through fall. There are no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat WNV in people. Fortunately, most people infected with WNV do not feel sick. About 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever and other symptoms. About 1 out of 150 infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, illness. You can reduce your risk of WNV by using insect repellent and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants to prevent mosquito bites.

Symptoms

No symptoms in most people. Most people  (8 out of 10) infected with West Nile virus do not develop any symptoms.

Febrile illness (fever) in some people. About 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Most people with this type of West Nile virus disease recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months.

Serious symptoms in a few people. About 1 in 150 people who are infected develop a severe illness affecting the central nervous system such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord).

  • Symptoms of severe illness include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis.

  • Severe illness can occur in people of any age; however, people over 60 years of age are at greater risk. People with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, and people who have received organ transplants, are also at greater risk.

  • Recovery from severe illness might take several weeks or months. Some effects to the central nervous system might be permanent.

  • About 1 out of 10  people who develop severe illness affecting the central nervous system die.

 

Diagnosis

  • See your healthcare provider if you develop the symptoms described above.

  • Your healthcare provider can order tests to look for West Nile virus infection.

Treatment

  • No vaccine or specific antiviral treatments for West Nile virus infection are available.

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to reduce fever and relieve some symptoms

  • In severe cases, patients often need to be hospitalized to receive supportive treatment, such as intravenous fluids, pain medication, and nursing care.

  • If you think you or a family member might have West Nile virus disease, talk with your health care provider.

 

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