What Is It?
West Nile Virus (WNV) is a potentially serious illness most often spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. The virus is not transmitted from person-to-person. You cannot get it from touching or kissing a person who has the virus or from a health care worker who has treated someone with it.
WNV can infect humans, birds, mosquitoes, horses, and some other mammals. Human WNV cases are more common in late summer and early fall but can occur in any mild climate.
Most people infected with the West Nile virus have no symptoms of illness. If symptoms do occur, the most common are: a mild illness with fever, headache and body aches, sometimes with skin rash and swollen lymph glands. WNV may under some circumstances, cause encephalitis (an inflammation of the brain). The symptoms of encephalitis may include headache, high fever, stiff neck, change in mental status, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis.
If you have symptoms of encephalitis, call or visit your clinician as soon as possible for assessment.