Skip to main content
Learn More

West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus (WNV) is a disease carried by mosquitoes.  If an infected mosquito bites a person, they may contract WNV.  (It may also be contracted by receiving a blood transfusion or through organ donation. (The U.S. does test the blood supply for evidence of WNV.) 
 
With a severe infection, patients can exhibit the following symptoms:


  • Fever
  • Head and body aches
  • Stiff neck
  • Seizures
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of vision
  • Numbness and paralysis
 
Some people infected with WNV may also exhibit the following symptoms:


  • Digestive symptoms such as nausea and vomiting
  • Rash
  • Swollen glands
 
Most people with WNV have not symptoms at all.
Usually a patient will exhibit symptoms within 3-14 days.
 
To avoid exposure to infected mosquitoes:


  • Wear mosquito repellant
  • Light colored clothing
  • Avoid the use of perfume/cologne
  • Do not go outside during early morning hours and at dusk, when mosquitoes are most active
  • Eliminate outside containers that hold water.  Mosquitoes breed in standing water.

If you suspect that you are infected with the WNV, you should seek immediate medical attention.  Severe illness may last for weeks and may even require hospitalization. 

For further information or assistance, please call or come to the Student Health Center, 475-5748