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Westnile Disease

About the Virus, the Disease, and Its Spread
West Nile virus is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito, and can infect people, horses, many types of birds, and some other animals. Most people who become infected with West Nile virus will have either no symptoms or only mild ones. However, on rare occasions, West Nile virus infection can result in severe and sometimes fatal illnesses. There is no evidence to suggest that West Nile virus can be spread from person to person or from animal to person.
Overview of West Nile Virus Updated
Q: What are West Nile virus, West Nile fever, and West Nile encephalitis?
A."West Nile Virus" is a flavivirus commonly found in Africa, West Asia, and the Middle East. It is closely related to St. Louis encephalitis virus found in the United States. The virus can infect humans, birds, mosquitoes, horses and some other mammals.
"West Nile fever" is a case of mild disease in people, characterized by flu-like symptoms. West Nile fever typically lasts only a few days and does not appear to cause any long-term health effects.
More severe disease due to a person being infected with this virus can be "West Nile encephalitis," "West Nile meningitis" or "West Nile meningoencephalitis." Encephalitis refers to an inflammation of the brain, meningitis is an inflammation of the membrane around the brain and the spinal cord, and meningoencephalitis refers to inflammation of the brain and the membrane surrounding it.
Q. Where did West Nile virus come from?
A. West Nile virus has been commonly found in humans and birds and other vertebrates in Africa, Eastern Europe, West Asia, and the Middle East, but until 1999 had not previously been documented in the Western Hemisphere. It is not known from where the U.S. virus originated, but it is most closely related genetically to strains found in the Middle East.
Q. Historically, where has West Nile encephalit…

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