West Nile Virus (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
West Nile virus causes an infection that can lead to inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), the spinal cord (myelitis), or the tissues surrounding it and the spinal cord (meningitis). No specific treatment is available. Mild infections go away on their own. Severe cases of encephalitis are treated with supportive care in a hospital. Supportive care involves helping the body fight illness on its own. It often is used when no specific treatment exists for an illness, as is the case with some viruses.
Supportive treatment for West Nile virus can include receiving fluids through a vein (intravenous, or IV), help with breathing (using a ventilator), and prevention of secondary infections, such as pneumonia. Medicine may also be used to relieve pain or a fever. For more information, see the topic Encephalitis or Meningitis.
West Nile virus causes an infection that can lead to inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), the spinal cord (myelitis), or the tissues surrounding the brain and the spinal cord (meningitis). If you have a fever and headache that continue for more than 2 or 3 days during West Nile virus season, or if you have any of the more severe symptoms of West Nile encephalitis, call your doctor immediately.
If your doctor determines that you have a mild infection, make sure to drink plenty of fluids and get lots of rest. You may also want to take medicine to reduce pain or a fever. You may feel well enough to continue your normal activities. Talk to your doctor about whether you need to stay home.
You can take steps to lower your risk of mosquito bites:
Vitamin B and ultrasonic or ultraviolet (UV) devices such as "bug zappers" are not effective for preventing mosquito bites.
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