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West Nile Virus Symptoms

July 2nd 2005

Use Insect Repelant

PINON HILLS, CA -  New cases of the West Nile Virus (WNV) are popping up throughout the country.  This is a relatively new phenomenon.  The Virus has emerged in recent years in temperate regions of Europe and North America (since 1999).  The LA Times has reported that there have been two confirmed human cases in California this year.

The first know case ever was isolated from a febrile adult woman in the West Nile District of Uganda in 1937. It became apparent that the virus was responsible for cases of severe meningitis and encephalitis in elderly patients in Israel in 1957.  West Nile virus has been described in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, west and central Asia, Oceania (subtype Kunjin), and most recently, North America.

The most serious manifestation of the WNV infection is fatal encephalitis.  Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain.  Very few people experience these serious symptoms.  According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) About one in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness. The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.

 

About 20 percent of the cases will result in fever, headaches and body aches, nausea, vomiting and sometimes swollen lymph glands.  Some of these people may experience skin rashes.  The vast majority (4 out of 5 people) of infections will go unnoticed with no symptoms.

The season will last throughout the summer and into the fall.  Some of the methods used to prevent the WNV are:  Use insect Repellents containing DEET (N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide), avoid the outdoors during dusk and dawn, and wear long sleeve shirts and long pants when outdoors.  Check your window and door screens for holes and drain standing water sites weekly, including bird baths, tires, swings etc.

The virus can be transmitted via transfusions, transplant, mother to child and of course from mosquitoes.  The virus can be transferred during breast feeding but not from merely touching people.  Symptoms develop between 3 and 14 days after infections. 

There are no treatments for the WNV.  Milder cases usually improve on-their-own.  If symptoms include severe headaches or confusion, seek medical attention immediately.  Those over 50 are more likely to develop serious symptoms.    

Avoid touching dead birds with your bare hands  Contact the local health agency if dead birds are found.  

Related Link:  A Survivors Story  
                     Encephalitis Conference 2005


By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer

 

Keywords and misspellings:  deed simptoms dete viris

 


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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Sunday, July 11, 2010 01:18 AM