Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Related Symptoms & Signs
Most people infected with the West Nile virus do not develop an illness or any symptoms from the infection. However, an illness with fever occurs in about one out of every five people who become infected. The illness produces flu-like symptoms, including
Rarely, in less than 1% of people who are infected, a serious illness with neurological complications develops. These people may develop inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) or the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord (meningitis). In this case, symptoms like high fever, stiff neck, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures (convulsions), or paralysis can occur. Other possible symptoms of severe West Nile virus illness can include difficulty walking and sleepiness. Long-term persistent effects of the severe illness can cause
Causes of West Nile virus
The West Nile virus is a type of arbovirus ("arbo" comes from ARrthropod-BOrne). It is a member of the Flavivirus genus and the family Flaviviridae. People get the infection from a bite from an infected mosquito.
United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "West Nile Virus." Feb. 12, 2015. <http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/symptoms/>.
Main Article on West Nile Virus Symptoms and Signs
Pictures, Images, Illustrations & Quizzes
Picture of West Nile Virus
The mosquito-borne virus that causes West Nile fever. One of the flaviviruses, a family of viruses also responsible for dengue,...
Viral Infection Types, Treatment, and Prevention
Watch this slideshow on Viral Infections and learn about types, treatment, and prevention of illnesses caused by viruses....
West Nile Virus Infection: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
Watch this slideshow on West Nile Virus (encephalitis). Spread by mosquitoes that feed on infected birds, learn about causes,...