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The West Nile Virus

Feb
12

Date: February 12th, 2013

All You Need To Know About the West Nile Virus (WNV)The WN, albeit seasonal, is a serious illness in North America. In the USA alone, it is all over more than 42 states. It is reportedly rampant during summer but continues falling as other seasons usher in.

What are the causes of the WNV infection?

The causative agent of the illness is a certain mosquito species according to medical researchers. The disease is spread when the mosquito bites a bird with the virus, and then it bites a healthy person. These mosquitoes carry the bulk of the viruses during the early fall, which explains why cases of the infection become more rampant at the end and beginning of August and September respectively. The contraction risks fade with the weather becoming colder as the mosquitoes die.

While the mosquitoes are the common causative agents, the WNV infection can also be acquired from a blood transfusion. Transplants of certain body organs can also spread the West Nile virus. There are high possibilities of the virus spreading from a mother to her kid through the birth process and breastfeeding.

Not many people realize that they are carriers of the virus after being bitten by a mosquito carrying the WNV. The following risk factors can cause infected individual to develop complex forms of the West Nile Virus:

-          Being pregnant

-          Being at an old or a significantly young age

-          Having issues that may weaken your immunity like transplants of organs, HIV or recent complex surgeries.

What are the symptoms of the WNV?

Symptoms become observable from the first to the fourteenth day of infection. A mild form of the disease, commonly known as the West Nile fever may be ruled out because of the symptoms below:

-          Severe diarrhea, severe headaches, pains in the abdomen, fever and shivering, reduced or  no appetite at all, development of  rashes, aching of muscles, nausea, swelling of the lymph nodes, vomiting and sore throat.

While these symptoms may for about a week, they may persist in other individuals for the better part of a month.

What are the tests and signs?

There is a great similarity of the WNV disease with other viral diseases. Though physical examinations on patients may not be informing, the disease is associated with a rash. The diagnosis tests for the West Nile disease may include:

 

-          A head MRI scan

-           A Head CT scan

-          CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) test

-          CBC (complete blood count)

-          LP (lumbar puncture) test

The serology test remains the most effective test: It checks for the antibodies of the WNV in a sample of blood.

Treatment of WNV

This infection is not treated by the use of antibiotics since it is not a bacterial disease. While medical specialists have not devised the ultimate treatment for this infection, standard medical practitioners may offer crucial help to patients with severe forms of the West Nile Virus.

Complex issues of WNV

If the complications are not taken care of, the severity of the disease may cause damage to the brain, polio-related conditions and even death.

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