In fact, most people never experience symptoms at all.
Only about 20 percent of those who contract the virus will show symptoms of what is called West Nile fever. The symptoms of West Nile fever are fairly close to those of the flu.Symptoms of West Nile fever are:
- Body aches
- Skin rash (occasionally)
- Swollen lymph glands (occasionally)
- Eye pain (occasionally)
Only less than one percent of those infected with the virus will suffer from a more serious form of West Nile which causes an infection in the nervous tissue of the body. This infection can cause severe swelling of the nerves and surrounding tissue and can be dangerous.Symptoms of the more serious form of the virus are:
- High fever
- Severe headache
- Stiff neck
- Disorientation or confusion
- Stupor or coma
- Tremors or muscle jerking
- Lack of coordination
- Partial paralysis or sudden weakness
It must be kept in mind that very few people contract this form of West Nile, but one way to tell the difference is that West Nile fever usually resolves itself in a few say, while the more serious form can last for weeks.
The Mayo Clinic advises that if you suspect you have contracted West Nile, it should be kept in mind that mild symptoms of West Nile fever usually resolve on their own without a doctor visit.
If you experience signs or symptoms of serious infection, such as severe headaches, a stiff neck or an altered mental state, seek medical attention right away.
A serious West Nile virus infection generally requires hospitalization.
For further information on West Nile and how it is affecting the nation, click here.