West Nile Virus

  • Medical Author:
    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

West Nile Virus Slideshow Pictures

Quick GuideWest Nile Virus Pictures Slideshow: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

West Nile Virus Pictures Slideshow: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

What are West Nile virus infection symptoms and signs?

Mild infections are common with the West Nile virus. Symptoms of a mild infection include fever, headache, and body aches, which are often accompanied by a skin rash that does not itch and swollen lymph nodes.

More severe infections are less common and are marked by headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor (sleepiness), disorientation, coma, tremors, occasional convulsions, paralysis, and rarely death. West Nile virus meningitis or encephalitis may result in a prolonged recuperation and rehabilitation period, especially in the elderly.

West Nile virus can have some long-term effects after severe illnesses. Memory loss, depression, irritability, and confusion are the most prevalent residual effects.

Patients may also experience difficulty walking, muscle weakness, joint pain, fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea, and insomnia.

Symptoms in children and babies are basically the same as symptoms in adults. Children may complain of headache, may have a fever, and may become lethargic.

Since most cases of West Nile virus infection are mild, the prognosis for recovery is generally good. In severe cases, death rates are highest in the elderly.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/20/2015
VIEW PATIENT COMMENTS
  • West Nile Virus - Cause

    How did you get West Nile virus? Were you traveling when you became ill?

    Post View 3 Comments
  • West Nile Virus - Treatment

    What kinds of treatment, including medication, did you or someone you know receive for West Nile virus?

    Post View 3 Comments
  • West Nile Virus - Signs and Symptoms

    What were the signs and symptoms you experienced with West Nile virus?

    Post View 5 Comments
  • West Nile Virus - Community Risk

    How does your at-risk community help prevent outbreaks of West Nile virus?

    Post

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors