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  • West Nile Virus

  • Reduce your riskWest 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.

    Symptoms

    Most infections are mild. Symptoms usually takes 5 to 15 days to develop. These may include:

    • fever
    • headache
    • body aches
    • skin rash
    • 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.

    Treatment

    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