virus is a potentially serious illness
transmitted by mosquitoes. It was first
discovered in the United States in 1999 in New
York. Since then, the virus has spread
throughout the United States.
the West Nile virus is a seasonal epidemic in
North America that flares up in the summer and
continues into the fall. The risk of disease
decreases as the weather become colder and
mosquitoes die off.
infected with the West Nile virus have no signs or
symptoms but there is no way to know in advance
if you will develop an illness or not.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:
Up to 20 percent of the people who have become
infected will display symptoms which can
include: fever, headache, body aches, nausea,
fatigue, vomiting, and sometimes skin rash,
swollen lymph glands and eye pain.
INFECTION SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:
About one in 150 people infected by the West
Nile virus will develop severe illness.
The severe symptoms can include: high fever,
severe headache, stiff neck, disorentation or
confusion, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle
weakness, vision loss, numbness and
paralysis. These symptoms may last several
weeks, and neurological effects may be
permanent. If you experience any of these
symptoms after being bitten by a mosquito, you
should seek medical attention immediately.
People typically develop symptoms between 3 and
14 days after they are bitten by the infected
THE WEST NILE VIRUS SPREAD?
Most often the
West Nile virus is spread by the bite of an
infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become
infected when they feed on infected birds.
Infected mosquitos can then spread the virus to
humans and other animals when they bite.
The virus is not spread through casual contact
such as touching or kissing a person with the
- People over the age of 50 are at higher risk
- If you work or spend time outdoors, you have a
greater chance of being bitten by an infected
- People who have a weakened immune system are
most likely to develop a severe or fatal
- Avoid unnecessary outdoor activity when
mosquitoes are most prevalent, such as dawn,
dusk and early evening
- Be sure to use insect repellants containing an
EPA-registered insect repellant (follow the
directions on the package) and wear shoes, long
sleeved shirts and long pants when
outdoors. Don't allow children to apply
insect repellants themselves.
- Eliminate standing water in your yard.
Mosquitoes breed in pools of standing water
- Make sure you have good screens on your
windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out
- Empty unused swimming pools
- Keep roof gutters clear and draining properly
- Monitor the news for information about current
insect conditions and community effors to
- Be aware that increased sightings of dead
birds in your area can be a sign that West Nile
virus might be present. If you see
multiple dead birds in your area, you should
immediately contact your health department.
SOURCE: Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention
PREPARED BY: 211/lb
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: August2012