West Nile Virus
Symptoms - Methods For Reducing Risk Of Exposure to Mosquitoes - Bug
Repellant - Magnets - Bug Zappers - Nets
June 9th 2006
This is the beginning of the mosquito season and West Nile Virus (WNV)
cases are expected this year again. The virus was first discovered in a
febrile adult woman in the West Nile District of Uganda in 1937. Later
it became apparent that the virus was responsible for cases of severe
meningitis and encephalitis in elderly patients in Israel in 1957.
Since then it has spread to temperate regions of Africa, Europe, the
Middle East, west and central Asia, Oceania (subtype Kunjin) and North
America (since 1999).
The most serious manifestation of the WNV infection is fatal
encephalitis. Encephalitis is a condition where the brain swells. Not
everyone that contracts the virus will get severe symptoms. Only about
one in 150 people infected with WNV will develop a severe illness.
These symptoms include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor,
disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision
loss, numbness and paralysis. Symptoms develop between 3 and 14 days