EBM News
EBM News

Symptoms, Causes of West Nile Fever

The West Nile virus (WNV) is the cause of the fever and can result in neurological diseases and even death, in severe cases [1] . A recent news article has reported the spread of the West Nile virus, resulting in the death of a 7-year-old boy from Kerala’s Malappuram region. Officials have issued a high safety alert in the districts of Mysore, Chamrajnagar, Kodagu and Dakshina Kannada in Karnataka, due to the close proximity of the states [2] .

In most cases, the virus does not cause the development of any symptoms. That is, about 80 per cent of the people who have WNV in their systems will not show any signs and the remaining 20 per cent can develop a fever, vomiting, headache or rashes. In the 20 per cent, about 1 per cent can face severe symptoms such as encephalitis or meningitis, along with life-threatening symptoms such as inflammation of the spinal cord or brain [3] .

As aforementioned, the disease is commonly spread through the bite of an infected mosquito (Culex pipiens) and develops during the summer season (mosquito season). The mosquitoes are commonly referred to as house mosquitoes [4] . The mosquitoes get infected when they feed on the infected birds. The virus is circulated into the salivary glands of the mosquitoes, which is then transported to our bloodstream where it multiplies and causes illness. However, not everyone who gets a bite from the infected mosquito will contract the disease. It can be severe in people aged over 60 as well as for individuals with a weak immune system. It is not contagious and cannot be transmitted from person to other [5] .

Symptoms Of West Nile Fever Eight out of ten people will develop no signs of the infection.
The symptoms of West Nile fever usually develop from 1 to 14 days after one becomes infected. In the case of mild infection, the signs and symptoms will as mentioned below. This is found in 20 per cent of the people infected by the virus [6] . Fever Headache Body aches Vomiting Diarrhoea Fatigue Skin rash Nausea Swollen lymph glands

Body aches
Fatigue Skin rash
Swollen lymph glands