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West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus

West Nile virus is a serious disease transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. Every year hundreds of cases are reported, and possibly many hundreds more go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. The disease can present in a mild fever form or a severe encephalitic form.

Quick West Nile Virus Background

West Nile virus (WNV) is a single-strand RNA virus of the familyFlaviviridae, genus Flavivirus, spread from birds to mosquitoes to humans.

In rare instances, West Nile has been transmitted via blood transfusion and organ transplant. Transmission of the virus from mother to fetus or through breastfeeding is being evaluated. Talk to your physician if you are infected and pregnant or breastfeeding.

West Nile virus cannot be spread from human to human except in the rare and unusual circumstances above.

Symptoms usually appear 3-14 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

Individuals over age 50 are more likely to develop the severe form of the disease.

Blood donations are screened for West Nile virus before being distributed.

The CDC is helping states develop and implement mosquito-control measures to reduce the risk of mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile virus.

West Nile virus can kill birds, though most survive infection. If you find a dead bird, do not handle it.

Pets can also become infected with West Nile virus.

Horses can become infected. The horse mortality rate is 40%. According to the CDC, there is a vaccine available from veterinarians for horses.

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John Griffin, Skeetobusters
4317A FM 2351 Rd
Friendswood, TX 77546

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