West Nile Virus

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The West Nile Virus is a potentially deadly disease transmitted by mosquitoes, which first entered the United States in 1999 from Israel[1][2][3]. No antiviral treatments are available. First identified in the West Nile district of Uganda in 1937, West Nile Virus is endemic across Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Australia, and West Asia. Since being introduced to the New World in 1999 in New York State, it has spread from Canada as far south as Venezuela. West Nile Virus is primarily a disease of birds, with humans, horses, alligators, and even killer whales being 'dead end hosts' - that is, hosts which can sicken from West Nile infection but which do not produce enough virus in their bloodstream to perpetuate transmission of the disease.

The CDC explains:[4]

About 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Most people with this type of West Nile virus disease recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months. Serious symptoms in a few people. About 1 in 150 people who are infected develop a severe illness affecting the central nervous system such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord).


  1. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/12/4/05-1379_article
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10600742
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11585528
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/westnile/symptoms/index.html