West Nile Virus (cont.)
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West Nile Virus and West Nile Encephalitis Risk Factors
The major risk factor for West Nile virus and West Nile encephalitis is being exposed to mosquitoes that may be carrying the virus. Such individuals are those who spend time outdoors and have skin exposed for mosquitoes to bite (for example, campers, hikers, those engaged in outdoor working conditions). Individuals who are is 50 years of age or older and individuals who have a weakened immune systems (cancer patients, diabetics, for example) are at higher risk for both infection and encephalitis.
West Nile Virus and West Nile Encephalitis Symptoms and Signs
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Signs and symptoms of the West Nile virus infection range from no symptoms at all to a rapidly fatal brain infection. The incubation period ranges from two to 14 days although two to six days is the most common range. In areas where the virus is common, people are more likely to show no symptoms of the infection or have only a mild, flu-like illness rather than a severe brain infection. The following describes symptoms and their frequency of occurrence:
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/9/2015
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West Nile encephalitis (WNE) is distinguished from other arthropod-borne causes of viral encephalitis (eg, western equine encephalitis, eastern equine encephalitis [EEE], Japanese encephalitis, Venezuelan encephalitis) based on its geographic distribution, clinical features, and laboratory findings.