The West Nile virus is an ailment acquired via a mosquito bite. Generally, the condition is mild, but it can trigger encephalitis or meningitis. The possibility for a severe infection is high among the elderly or those who have a weak immune system.
It is vital to bear in mind that mosquitoes become carriers of the virus once they feed on infected birds. A human can acquire the virus if bit by a carrier mosquito. The condition does not spread from person-to-person contact but can spread via organ transplants and blood transfusions.
What are the signs?
Oftentimes, there are no signs present. Remember that children are likely to end up with symptoms than adults. Once the symptoms do manifest, they occur 3-14 days after being bit by a carrier mosquito.
In most cases, the signs are typically minor and lasts for a few days only such as:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Body aches
- Inflamed lymph glands
Once the West Nile virus involves the brain, the signs might include:
- Stiff neck
- High fever
- Intense headache
Management of West Nile virus
At the present, there is no available drug that cures the West Nile virus. In case the symptoms are mild, they settle on their own. In most instances, self-care measures are enough.
For a serious infection, hospitalization is required. The individual is given intravenous fluids, pain medications or other treatment options.
Most individuals who are infected by the West Nile virus include almost all children, but they do not become seriously sick and recover completely. The symptoms typically last for 3-6 days but can persist for several weeks or even months.
For a serious form of infection, the individual can be sick for weeks or even months. In serious cases, the brain or the nervous system can be affected.