Doctor's Notes on West Nile Virus and West Nile Encephalitis (WNE)
The majority of people infected with West Nile virus show no symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they can range from mild to a rapidly fatal brain infection. Early symptoms of West Nile virus infection include an abrupt onset of fever, chills, muscle aches, headache (may be severe), flu-like symptoms, sensitivity to light with pain behind the eyes, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, fatigue, and weakness. Most patients will recover completely. In a small percentage of patients, the disease can progress to cause encephalitis or meningitis, which may appear as neurological changes such as disorientation, tremors, seizures, headache, high fever, and neck stiffness, and in about 10% of cases, death.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.