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West Nile Fever

What is West Nile fever?

West Nile virus is a seasonal infection that usually flares up in the United States between the summer and fall months when mosquitos are especially active.

What are the signs and symptoms?

Individuals start to show symptoms 3-14 days after being bitten by the infected mosquito. Approximately 80% of people infected with West Nile do not show symptoms. The other 20% of cases will result in: 

  • Fever
  • Head/body aches
  • Nausea and vomiting

How is West Nile fever spread?

West Nile is most commonly transmitted by infected mosquitoes.

How do you prevent West Nile fever?

When outside, use insect repellant. During high mosquito activity times, typically at dusk and dawn, make sure to wear long sleeve shirts or avoid being outside. Remove mosquito breeding grounds by eliminating sources of standing water. Make sure to have good screens on your doors and windows to prevent mosquitos from entering your home.

How do you diagnose and treat West Nile fever?

West Nile virus has no specific treatment. Symptoms such as fever and body aches will fade out on their own, but even healthy individuals may be sick for a few weeks. Individuals who have severe cases may be admitted to the hospital for intravenous fluids, breathing exercises, and nursing care.