West Nile Virus
Nile Virus is a type of
encephalitis transmitted by mosquitoes. The virus causes brain
infection in a small percentage of people who are exposed to it.
Most infections are mild. Symptoms usually takes 5 to 15 days to
develop. These may include:
swollen lymph glands
More severe infection may be marked by headache, high fever, neck
stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle
weakness, paralysis and, rarely, death.
There is no cure for the disease. Treatment may include hospitalization
and antibiotics to prevent infections, such as pneumonia, that may
develop because the immune system is weakened.
There is no vaccine for West Nile Virus.
West Nile Virus cannot be spread from person to person, animal
to person, or animal to animal.
West Nile Virus is less fatal than
Eastern Equine Encephalitis. For every 100 victims, 3-15
will die from their symptoms. The elderly are at greatest risk
for severe symptoms.
Like EEE, West Nile Virus causes inflammation of the brain and
affects the central nervous system which controls functions such
as involuntary breathing.
West Nile Virus is new to the United States; there were no cases
prior to a 1999 outbreak in the New York area.
Domestic animals, including dogs and cats, are also at risk if
they are exposed to mosquitoes.
If you have any symptoms and think you might have West Nile
Virus, contact your doctor immediately.
Reduce your risk