West Nile Virus - Symptoms West Nile Virus - Symptoms

Q. Who is at risk for getting West Nile encephalitis?

A. All residents of areas where virus activity has been identified are at risk of getting West Nile encephalitis; persons over 50 years of age have the highest risk of severe disease.

Q. What are the symptoms of West Nile encephalitis?

A. Most infections are mild, and symptoms include fever, headache, and body aches, occasionally with a skin rash on the trunk of the body and swollen lymph glands.

More severe infection may be marked by headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, paralysis, and, rarely, death.

Q. What is the incubation period in humans (i.e., time from infection to onset of disease symptoms) for West Nile encephalitis?

A. Usually 3 to 15 days.

Q. How long do symptoms last?

A. Symptoms of mild disease will generally last a few days. Symptoms of severe disease may last several weeks, although neurological effects may be permanent.
Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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