Treating and Preventing West Nile Virus

WTNH– West Nile is a virus carried by mosquitoes that is capable of causing disease in people. It’s important to know if you have West Nile so it can be treated.

While most people who become infected with the virus don’t have symptoms, there are some signs of the illness. According to Center for Disease Control, about 1 in 5 who are infected develop the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Body Aches
  • Joint Pains
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Rash

However, less than 1% of people infected can develop a serious neurological illness like encephalitis or meningitis, which is inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues.

The symptoms of neurological illness are:

  • Headache
  • High fever
  • Neck stiffness
  • Disorientation
  • Coma
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Paralysis

Recovery from this can take months and some effects can be permanent. There is no vaccine or antiviral treatment available for West Nile virus. There are however over-the-counter pain relievers that help relieve the symptoms. If symptoms get severe, patients will need to be hospitalized to receive intravenous fluids, pain medication and nursing care.

LINK: Mosquitoes Test Positive For West Nile Virus

The West Nile Virus is mostly transmitted to humans from mosquitoes. The virus is not transmitted from person to person or from animal to person, from handling live or dead infected animals, or from consuming infected animals.

To prevent the West Nile Virus, the CDC recommends that you:

  • Use insect repellents when you go outdoors.
  • When weather permits, wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors.
  • Take extra care during peak mosquito biting hours.
  • Support your local community mosquito control programs.
  • Report dead birds to local authorities.

To find if there are mosquitoes infected with the West Nile Virus near you, click here.


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