West Nile Virus

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

West Nile virus is a disease caused by a mosquito-borne virus. It

first appeared in the United States in 1999. Dr. Edward Hill discusses West Nile virus in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

West Nile infection is caused by a virus transmitted by mosquitoes. Most people infected with West Nile virus dont experience any signs or symptoms, or may experience only minor ones, such as fever and mild headache. However, some people who become infected with West Nile virus develop a life-threatening illness that includes inflammation of the brain.

Even if youre infected, your risk of developing a serious West Nile virus-related illness is extremely small less than 1 percent of people who are infected become severely ill. And most people who do become sick recover fully.

Youre more likely to develop a severe or fatal infection if youre over the age of 50 or have a weakened immune system.

Mild symptoms of West Nile fever usually resolve on their own. If you experience signs or symptoms of serious infection, such as severe headaches, a stiff neck, disorientation or confusion, seek medical attention right away. A serious West Nile virus infection generally requires hospitalization.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.