West Nile Virus Symptoms

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Its been a bad year for West Nile Virus, both in the state of Mississippi and the rest of the country. Dr. Edward Hill takes a closer look at the numbers and describes the symptoms of West Nile Virus in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

The incidence of West Nile Virus is on the rise, especially in Mississippi. There were five deaths and 52 total cases of West Nile Virus in the state in 2011. The number of total cases in 2012 has more than doubled and still rising.

About one in 150 people infected with West Nile Virus will develop severe illness. Severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.

Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected have symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting and swollen lymph glands.

Approximately 80 percent of people who are infected with West Nile Virus will not show any symptoms at all.

There is no specific treatment for West Nile infection. In more severe cases, people usually need to go to the hospital where they can receive supportive treatment including intravenous fluids, help with breathing and nursing care.

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