West Nile Virus Symptoms Risk Treatment


West Nile Virus Symptoms Risk Treatment

No vaccine or specific medicines are available for West Nile virus infection. In severe cases, patients often need to be hospitalized to receive supportive treatment, such as intravenous fluids, pain medication, and nursing care.

What is the treatment for the West Nile virus?

There is no specific treatment for West Nile virus (WNV) disease; clinical management is supportive. Patients with severe meningeal symptoms often require pain control for headaches and antiemetic therapy and rehydration for associated nausea and vomiting.

How is West Nile virus diagnosed and treated?

Laboratory diagnosis is generally accomplished by testing of serum or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to detect WNV-specific IgM antibodies. Immunoassays for WNV-specific IgM are available commercially and through state public health laboratories.

Can you survive West Nile virus?

Even if you’re infected, your risk of developing a serious West Nile virus-related illness is very small. Less than 1% of people who are infected become severely ill. And most people who do become sick recover fully.

Can antibiotics cure West Nile virus?

Antibiotics are not an effective course of treatment since they only fight bacterial infections, and the West Nile disease is caused by a virus. However, over-the-counter (OTC) medications, such as acetaminophen, can be used to relieve symptoms such as fever and headaches.

What is the survival rate of West Nile virus?


Reports indicate that less than 1% of persons who are infected with the West Nile virus develop severe illness; of individuals who have severe illness secondary to the infection, 3-15% die.

Can West Nile cause brain damage?

Every year as mosquito season arrives, so does West Nile virus, causing fever in thousands of people nationwide and life-threatening brain infections in an unlucky few. About half the people who survive that infection West Nile encephalitis are left with permanent neurological deficits such as memory loss.

Who is at risk of becoming ill from West Nile virus?

Most people are infected in summer to early fall. While chances of anyone becoming seriously ill are small, people over 50 years of age are at the highest risk for severe illness.

Can you get West Nile virus twice?

Can a human get West Nile virus twice? Medical professionals don’t believe so. Like many other viruses, medical tests indicate that once a person has been infected with West Nile, he/she develops a natural immunity to future infection by the virus for life.

What are the long term effects of West Nile virus?

The most common long-term effects are depression, tremors, fatigue, memory problems, extremity weakness, word-finding difficulty and headaches. Since WNV arrived in North America in 1999, it has become the most common arboviral infection in the continent.

Is West Nile communicable?

West Nile virus is most commonly spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds. Infected mosquitoes then spread West Nile virus to people and other animals by biting them.

How long does it take to recover from West Nile?

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.

Should I worry about West Nile virus?

Like other viruses, the very young, the elderly and people who are immunocompromised are at greatest risk for West Nile. Serious cases of West Nile virus are so rare that it is not something people should worry about or stay inside all summer to avoid.

What type of victim is usually affected by West Nile virus?

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.

What are the neurological effects of West Nile virus?

West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne virus that can cause severe neurological disease in those infected. Those surviving infection often present with long-lasting neurological changes that can severely impede their lives. The most common reported symptoms are depression, memory loss, and motor dysfunction.

Can West Nile virus cause paralysis?

Infections with the mosquito-borne West Nile virus have been known to lead to neurological problems, including paralysis, though these results are rare.

Can West Nile virus cause a stroke?

West Nile Virus (WNV) commonly causes meningitis and encephalitis. At least three cases of stroke in the setting of West Nile encephalitis (WNE) have been reported in the litrature. We report the first case of West Nile Meningitis/Encephalitis complicated by pontine stroke.

Is West Nile a lifelong disease?

Like many other viruses, medical tests indicate that once a person has been infected with West Nile, he/she develops a natural immunity to future infection by the virus for life. However, this immunity may decrease over time or with further health conditions that compromise the immune system.

Can West Nile affect you years later?

Long-term effects of West Nile virus neurovasive disease, including parkinsonism tremors, poliomyelitis, meningitis and cognitive disorders, may occur in more than one third of patients with confirmed infections.

What happens if West Nile virus is not treated?

The virus can cause life-threatening illnesses, such as encephalitis, meningitis, or meningoencephalitis. There is no vaccine available to prevent West Nile virus. So, it is important to avoid mosquito bites.

What part of the body does West Nile virus affect?

West Nile virus (WNV) is a potentially serious illness that can attack the nervous system of animals and humans. The virus interferes with normal central nervous system functioning and causes inflammation of brain tissue.

Is West Nile an autoimmune disease?

Conclusions: Our case indicates that West Nile Virus infections can trigger autoimmune encephalitis. Our finding expands the spectrum of autoimmune conditions that can develop following an infection.

Do all mosquitoes carry West Nile virus?

No. Even in areas where the virus is circulating, very few mosquitoes are infected with the virus. Even if the mosquito is infected, less than 1% of people who get bitten and become infected will get severely ill.

Can you fully recover from West Nile?

Most people fully recover from West Nile. But some people who get a severe infection have permanent problems such as seizures, memory loss, and brain damage. A few people die from it.

How long does a mild case of West Nile virus last?

In mild cases of West Nile, symptoms usually last for 3 to 6 days, and you can recover at home. If you get a more severe case of West Nile, symptoms can last for weeks or months, and you may need to stay in the hospital so you can get medicine to help you recover.

What does West Nile rash look like?

The rash of WNV is similar to many other viral rashes in that it can be nonspecific in nature. WNV rash typically consists of small pink spots some raised and some flat symmetrically distributed on the arms, legs, and trunk. It has been described as looking very much like roseola or measles.

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