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West Nile Virus
Infection
Birds are natural hosts to the virus, which is transmitted to humans by a day-biting mosquito. WNV can not infect directly from person to person.

Vaccination
None

Symptoms
Fever, muscle and joint pain, a faint rash, swollen glands and headache. In rare cases is seen an encephalitis (brain infection) which may case death especially in elderly people.

Diagnosis
Antibodies against the virus can be found in a blood sample.

Treatment
Supportive only. No specific antiviral drugs available.

Prevention
Avoid mosquito bites. The authorities in the US have been conduction aerial spaying programmes against the mosquito breeding sites.

More about West Nile Virus
WNV was first found in the US in 1999 in New York. The virus has since been slowly spreading and is now found all over the United States, southern Canada and in Mexico.

Further information: C.D.C. West Nile Virus

Edited 15 December 2008