West Nile Fever

What Is West Nile Fever?

Mosquitoes are the carriers of the West Nile virus. Humans, birds, mosquitoes, horses, and other mammals are all susceptible to the West Nile virus. The virus can transfer to a fetus by transfused blood, a transplanted organ, or the placenta in rare cases.

In moderate zones, the West Nile virus appears in late summer and early fall. In southern areas, it can happen all year.

What Symptoms Does It Cause?

In most cases, there are no symptoms. The majority of those infected with the West Nile virus (8 out of 10) do not experience any symptoms.

Some persons get febrile sickness (fever). A fever with accompanying symptoms like headache, body aches, joint problems, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash affects about 1 in 5 people who are infected. The majority of patients who have a West Nile virus-related febrile illness recover entirely, but lethargy and weakness might continue for weeks or months.

A few persons have experienced severe symptoms. Infected people are about 1 in 150 who suffer a severe illness affecting the central nervous system, such as encephalitis (brain inflammation) or meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord).

How Does It Get Diagnosed?

If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, contact your healthcare professional.

Tests for West Nile virus infection can be ordered by your healthcare professional.

How Do You Treat The West Nile Virus?

Your healthcare professional will determine the optimal treatment for you based on the following factors:

  • Age
  • Medical History.
  • Intensity of sickness
  • Tolerance to coping with medicines.
  • How long do you think the condition will last?
  • Your point of view or preference

There is no specific treatment for infections caused by the West Nile virus. If a person contracts West Nile encephalitis or meningitis, treatment may include intense supportive treatments, such as:

  • Hospitalization
  • Intravenous fluids (IV)
  • Breathing assistance (ventilator)
  • Other infection prevention (such as pneumonia or urinary tract infections)
  • Nursing assistance

Prevention

Controlling mosquito populations is crucial to limiting the spread of West Nile illness. Mosquitoes should not be allowed to bite horses. Similarly, individuals should prevent mosquito bites, especially during the hours of dusk and dawn when they are most active, use insect screens and insect repellents, and reduce mosquito breeding areas.

For horses, there is a vaccination. Horse immunization is thought to be an effective control measure in places where the disease is prevalent.

Surveillance programs in wild or sentinel birds enable responsible authorities to adopt necessary animal and human protection measures.

Points To Remember

  1. Humans contract West Nile Virus after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
  2. The West Nile virus usually causes flu-like symptoms.
  3. Encephalitis, meningitis, and meningoencephalitis are all life-threatening disorders caused by the virus.
  4. West Nile virus is not preventable with a vaccination. As a result, mosquito bites must be avoided at all costs.

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