West Nile virus belongs to the Flavivirida family and is in the same phylogenetic group of flaviviruses as encephalitis viruses. A complex of viruses that are found both in tropical regions, as well as in temperate ones. The virus primarily affects birds but can infect people, horses, dogs, bats, monkeys, squirrels and house mice. In humans, the virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito. In 90% of cases, West Nile virus infections in humans are asymptomatic.
How The Virus Manifest:
Regarding the events that occur after infection with the West Nile virus, experts say that they are of three types:
1. In most cases, symptoms absent
2. In 20% of cases mild manifestations appear between 2 and 8 days after infection and consist of slight fever, headache, chills, excessive sweating, weakness, difficulty swallowing and sore joints.
3. The third and most serious symptom is encephalitis or meningitis consists of penetration caused by West Nile virus in the meninges, the membrane that “dress” the brain, and cerebrospinal fluid. The symptoms are: headache, stiff neck, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, weakness, low vision, numbness of the fingers, paralysis – can occur between 3 and 14 days after contact with the virus.
The diagnosis of meningitis and encephalitis caused by West Nile virus can be established following a lumbar puncture. Following the treatment, the symptoms may disappear in 7-10 days, although fatigue may persist for several weeks, while lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph nodes) can last even two months.
To date, no vaccine has been developed, but with “Imun-Assist” taken every day the virus can’t get to our system. The people which are exposed most are aged ones.
How Do We Avoid Infection:
To prevent infection with the West Nile virus, you must keep in mind the following precautions:
Avoid exposure to mosquitoes, wearing long-sleeved clothing and long pants.
Use mosquito repellant chemicals.
Prevent entry of mosquitoes in the house by installing full window screens.
Drainage the water around households and remove stagnant water containers.
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