Frequently Asked Questions about West Nile Virus
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about West Nile Virus
Q: What is the West Nile Virus and what are the symptoms?
A: The West Nile Virus is a serious infection that, when contracted, the symptoms include the following: severe headache, high fever, stiff neck, muscle weakness, numbness, tremors, convulsions, disorientation, loss of vision, a dazed state, paralysis, and coma as well as meningitis or encephalitis.
Milder infections usually have symptoms similar to influenza, with headache and body aches, fever, nausea and vomiting, and swollen glands or a rash.
Q: How long will it take before a person who is bitten shows
symptoms of West Nile Virus?
A: It usually takes anywhere from three days to two weeks before symptoms appear. This is known as the incubation period for humans.
Q: Is there a vaccine for the West Nile Virus?
A: No, not at this time, although there are laboratories working on creating a vaccine for this mosquito-borne disease.
Q: How far has West Nile Virus spread here in North America?
A: It is believed to have entered the U.S. in 1999 at New York City via an imported bird. Since then it has spread to all areas of the United States as well as into Mexico and Canada. Birds appear to be the main conveyor of the disease here.
Q: Can all mosquitoes transmit West Nile Virus?
A: No, two species, the Aedes aegypti and Culex pipiens mosquitoes appear to be two major vectors of West Nile Virus.
Q: Is the West Nile Virus fatal for all those who contract it?
A: No, although cases can become serious, here in the United States, with proper medical treatment, recovery can be expected. Interestingly, many researchers feel that others get mild cases of the disease, only exhibiting symptoms similar to the flu. Some people don’t get any symptoms at all and never realize they were infected with West Nile Virus!
Q: Besides, West Nile Virus, what other diseases can mosquitoes
A: Mosquitoes are vectors (carriers) of Yellow Fever, Malaria, Dengue Fever, Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever, several forms of Encephalitis (St. Louis, La Crosse, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, Western Equine Encephalitis, Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis) in humans.
They also spread several diseases that affect pets and other animals including heartworm, hypersensitivity in cats, Avian influenza, Rift Valley Fever and Equine Encephalitis.
Protect your family, pets and guests from disease-carrying mosquitoes