West Nile Virus (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
When Should I Call the Doctor About West Nile Virus Infection?
West Nile virus is transmitted by mosquitoes mainly during the summer months, and infections generally appear between the months of May to October. Rarely, transmission via blood transfusions, organ transplants, and mother-to-fetus or mother-to-infant from breastfeeding has been reported.
Anyone who has symptoms of severe illness such as mental-status changes, high fever, neck stiffness, sensitivity to light, or confusion should go to an urgent-care center or hospital emergency department immediately. The West Nile encephalitis that occurred during the initial 1999 New York outbreak was especially notable for its severe muscle weakness. This is another important warning symptom.
How Is West Nile Virus and West Nile Encephalitis Diagnosed?
Diagnosing West Nile virus infections is generally done through a combination of observing signs and symptoms along with specialized molecular biologic testing for the virus itself.
Are There Home Remedies for West Nile Virus?
Home care for people who suspect they may have become infected with West Nile virus is limited to relief of symptoms. There is no specific treatment for the virus.
Severe symptoms require hospital treatment.
Last Reviewed 11/21/2017
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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.