ALERT! West Nile virus has been detected in mosquitoes in Waltham …

Symptoms usually occur 3 to 14 days after a person is bitten by an infected mosquito. Symptoms can last from a few days up to several weeks. They usually go away on their own. Contact your doctor if you have any of these symptoms and have recently been bitten by a mosquito.

Less than 1% of the people who do get infected with the West Nile virus develop severe symptoms or complications. Almost all of those people fully recover. Of the small number of people who do get severely ill from the virus, about 10% will die.

Mosquitoes and the West Nile Virus Still Affect the United States

Mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus found in West Tennessee

West Nile Virus — Middlesex-London Health Unit

There is no specific treatment for West Nile virus infection. People who experience mild symptoms usually get better after a few days. You can take over-the-counter pain relievers to help reduce fever and to help with any pain you may be having.

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Living with West Nile Virus

Repellents containing a higher concentration of active ingredient (such as DEET) provide longer-lasting protection. Read the directions to find out how long your product will last.

The following are a few things you can do:

West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus Symptoms

Your healthcare provider will figure out the best treatment based on:

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How is West Nile virus treated?

West Nile virus isn’t spread between humans. However, in a few cases it has spread through organ transplant. Health officials think the organ donor acquired the virus through a blood transfusion. All blood is screened for the virus. The risk for getting West Nile virus from blood is much lower than the risk of not having any procedure that would call for a blood transfusion.

Most people infected with West Nile virus have only mild, flu-like symptoms that last a few days. Symptoms usually appear within 3 to 14 days of infection.

Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:

What do west nile virus mosquito bites look like

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Most people infected with West Nile virus have no symptoms. However, about 1 in 5 people may have mild, flu-like symptoms, which include:

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What causes the virus?

A few cases have also been reported of the virus being passed from a pregnant or breastfeeding woman to her baby. These cases are extremely rare.

There’s no specific treatment for West Nile virus-related diseases. If a person gets the more severe form of the disease, West Nile encephalitis or meningitis, treatment may include intensive supportive therapy, such as:

Mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus found in West Tennessee

West Nile Virus: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

You may have a higher risk for infection by the virus if you live in an area where it has been found in humans, birds, horses, or mosquitoes. However, even in areas where the virus has been reported, it’s very unlikely that a person will get sick from a mosquito bite.

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How is West Nile virus diagnosed?

Your doctor will do a physical examination and ask about your symptoms. They will want to know if you’ve been bitten by a mosquito recently. They may order blood tests to confirm if you have West Nile virus. Sometimes your doctor may order a spinal tap to check for the virus. This involves collecting a sample of the fluid that surrounds your spinal cord and brain. If you’re having severe symptoms, your doctor may order a CT scan or an MRI to look for inflammation in the brain.

Your doctor will order a blood test to check for antibodies to the West Nile virus. He or she may also do a lumbar puncture to test cerebrospinal fluid for signs of infection.

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