West Nile Virus: Signs, Symptoms, and Where to Find a Picture

Sign West nile virus SymptomWhat West Nile Virus Signs Should I be Looking Out For?: West Nile Virus is a part of the family Flaviviridae and is part of the encephalitis complex of viruses that are antigenic. It can be found in both temperate and tropical regions and mainly affects birds, but is also known to infect horses, skunks, dogs, bats, cats, squirrels, chipmunks, domestic rabbits, and unfortunately, humans. The main way that humans become infected with west Nile is from the bite of a mosquito carrying the disease. West Nile can be deadly, but even of the most extreme cases of infection, the mortality rate is much less than 4% overall especially with treatment. While infection is generally caused by a mosquito bite, there is a middle man. The first mosquito actually bites and infects a bird, who then amplifies the virus itself. The new, amplified virus is then transmitted to the next mosquito that bites the bird, and then the virus is transmitted to you when you are bitten by the same mosquito. When it reaches the human body, it no longer multiplies as regularly, and thus is known to us as a dead end infection. Most mosquito bites happen in the outdoors, so one warning sign to lookout for is stagnant water. This is a breeding ground for mosquitoes and can increase your chances of being infected substantially. If you must be outside, especially around the hours of dusk and dawn, it is suggested that you wear clothing that covers your arms, legs, and trunk, and that are light colored. Also, the use of repellents can help.

What Are The Symptoms of West Nile Virus?: The infection itself could be asymptomatic, or it could produce a mild syndrome called West Nile Fever, which causes fever, chills, headache, excessive sweating, drowsiness, swollen lymph nodes, rash, and other symptoms. If it progresses to full blown West Nile, it can cause a decreased level of consciousness to the point of near coma, as well as symptoms the same as west Nile fever.

Is My Child At A Higher Risk for West Nile Virus?: While anyone can get the disease, children may be at a higher risk because of lower immunities and the fact that many children spend a lot of time playing outdoors in clothing that doesn’t cover them completely, as well as having a habit of playing in areas where mosquitoes are known to thrive. The elderly should also be careful for the fact that their immune systems may also be compromised. The elderly are more prone to cover up, but sometimes that doesn’t matter.

Where Can I Find Pictures and FAQs about West Nile Virus?: While you could look in a book for West Nile information, the internet has become a great place to find photos and faqs quickly and easily. They can also provide you with more tips to avoid unknowingly providing places for mosquitoes to lay their eggs, as well as more ways to avoid the virus and keep yourself and your family safe and healthy.