April 22, 2024
Virus Diseases

What is West Nile virus disease?


Last Update on September 14, 2022

| Transmission| Symptoms | Diagnosis | Treatment | How to control mosquitoes? |

West Nile virus (WNV) is A mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States. The most typical way for the West Nile virus to spread to people is by a mosquito bite. The mosquito season, which begins in the summer and lasts until the fall, is when West Nile virus disease cases develop. There are no medicines, vaccinations, or treatments available for West Nile virus disease in humans. Fortunately, the majority of West Nile virus disease carriers have no symptoms. One in five infected individuals has a fever and other symptoms.

One in 150 infected individuals develops a serious, occasionally deadly illness. By applying insect repellent, and avoiding mosquito bites by donning long sleeves and long pants, and using insect repellent, you can lower your chance of contracting the West Nile virus disease.

1. Transmission of West Nile virus disease:

The main method through which the West Nile virus disease is transmitted to humans is through a mosquito bite.

When mosquitoes receive their feed from ill birds, they receive West Nile Virus disease. By biting humans and other animals, mosquitoes bite and then carry the West Nile virus disease to them.

West Nile virus has, in a very tiny number of cases, been spread by:

  • The exposure that occurs in a lab
  • Organ transplantation and blood transfusion
  • Pregnant woman to child, during delivery or breast-feeding

The West Nile virus disease is not transmitted by:

  • Through sneezing, coughing, or contact
  • Interacting with living creatures
  • From handling diseased birds, either alive or dead. When handling any deceased animal, avoid touching it with bare hands. Use gloves or two plastic bags to deposit the corpse in a waste bin when disposing of a dead bird.
  • By consuming infected animals, including birds and in food

2. Symptoms of West Nile virus (WNV):

Most people have no symptoms of West Nile virus disease. Eight out of ten people who contract the West Nile virus disease do not exhibit any symptoms.

Some persons get febrile sickness (fever). One in five infected with West Nile virus individuals experiences a fever along with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. The majority of persons who suffer from the West Nile virus-related febrile illness fully recover, but fatigue and weakness might continue for weeks or months.

A few people experience severe symptoms of West Nile virus disease. A serious sickness involving the central nervous system, such as encephalitis (brain inflammation), or meningitis, affects about 1 in 150 victims (inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord).

  • High fever, headache, stiff neck, stupor, confusion, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, visual loss, numbness, and paralysis are some of the signs and symptoms of a serious West Nile virus disease.
  • People of any age can develop serious West Nile virus diseases, but those over 60 have a higher chance of developing them if they become infected (1 in 50 people). Additionally, those who have certain medical disorders, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, and organ transplant recipients, are at higher risk.
  • A severe sickness may require weeks or months to recover from. The central nervous system may experience some long-lasting impacts.
  • One in ten patients who experience a serious illness that affects the central nervous system passes away.

3. Diagnosis of West Nile virus (WNV):

  • If you experience the previously listed symptoms of West Nile virus, consult your doctor.
  • Your doctor may request testing to check for West Nile virus infection.

4. Treatment of West Nile virus (WNV):

For West Nile virus infection, there is no vaccination or particular treatment available.

  • Fever can be reduced and certain symptoms can be relieved by over-the-counter pain medicines.
  • Patients with serious conditions may require hospitalization to get supportive care, including intravenous fluids, painkillers, and nursing attention.
  • Consult your health care practitioner if you believe you or a family member may have West Nile virus disease.

5. How to control mosquitoes?

Anyone may control mosquitoes, from people to mosquito extermination specialists.

  • You can take action to lessen mosquitoes in and around your house, in your neighborhood, and in the community as a whole.
  • Professionals from local government agencies or mosquito control districts create mosquito control plans, carry out tasks to control adult mosquitoes and mosquito larvae, and assess the efficacy of their interventions.