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West Nile Virus

What is West Nile Virus?
Where is West Nile found?
What are the symptoms West Nile?
How is West Nile spread?
How can I keep from getting West Nile?
If I’ve been exposed to West Nile, how long will it take for symptoms to develop?
What treatments are available for West Nile? How serious is the disease?
Can I get West Nile from another person who is infected?
Can I get West Nile from a pet, or another domestic or wild animal?
Where can I get more information on West Nile?

What is West Nile Virus?
The West Nile Virus can be a serious threat to human and animal health. The most serious effect of West Nile is fatal encephalitis, which is an inflammation of the brain, in humans and horses. West Nile also kills certain species of domestic and wild birds.
 
Where is West Nile found?
West Nile Virus first appeared in Africa in the 1930’s, but has spread to the temperate regions of Europe and North America, including Northern Kentucky, in recent years. The first case of West Nile in the United States was reported in 1999.
 
What are the symptoms West Nile?
Most often if you are exposed to the West Nile virus, you will not show any symptoms.
 
Symptoms of a mild infection include: fever, headache, body aches and swollen lymph glands.
 
Symptoms of a severe infection include: high fever, sever headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, paralysis and coma.
 
Contact your health care provider if you have any of these symptoms. If severe symptoms develop, see your doctor immediately.
 
How is West Nile spread?An environmentalist sorts mosquitoes to test for West Nile Virus
The West Nile virus is transferred to humans through bites from an infected mosquito. It is estimated that less than 1 percent of all mosquitoes have West Nile. If a human is bitten by an infected mosquito, he/she has a less than 1 percent chance of developing symptoms of West Nile, and only a small number of those people with symptoms become seriously ill.
 
How can I keep from getting West Nile?
The West Nile virus is transferred to humans through bites from an infected mosquito. Follow these tips to avoid mosquito bites and eliminate mosquito breeding areas.

How to avoid mosquito bites

Mosquito proof your home

Help your community

If I’ve been exposed to West Nile, how long will it take for symptoms to develop?
The symptoms of West Nile Virus generally appear about three to six days after exposure, but may appear as early as one day after exposure or as late as 15 days.

What treatments are available for West Nile? How serious is the disease?
There is no specific treatment for West Nile Virus infection. Doctors can treat the symptoms of encephalitis in a hospitalized patient. Most people recover from the illness. The mild flu-like symptoms generally do not require medical treatment.
 
Can I get West Nile from another person who is infected?
No. West Nile Virus infection is not transmitted from person-to-person. You cannot get West Nile Virus from touching or kissing a person who has the disease, nor from a health care worker who has treated someone with the disease.
 
Can I get West Nile from a pet, or another domestic or wild animal?
No, West Nile Virus is not transmitted from animal-to-animal or animal-to-person. Only an infected mosquito can transmit the virus.

Where can I get more information on West Nile?
For more information and information on recent cases online, you can visit:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Kentucky Department for Public Health
 
Or you can call the Health Department at 859.341.4151.

Sources: Northern Kentucky Health Department, Kentucky Department for Public Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention