West Nile virus (USA and elsewhere)

The West Nile disease is an ailment caused by a flavivirus and transmitted to humans by infected mosquitos.

Noted first in Uganda, the disease also regularly makes its appearance in the USA (annual relapses during summer and beginning of fall) and in Europe (Greece, Turkey, Russia and other countries).

80% of the people stung by an infected mosquito show no symptoms. In 20% of the cases a temporary flu-like syndrome (fever, headache, general pain, swollen glands) can be observed (from a few days to a few weeks).

In less than 1% of infected patients a severe illness is noted (symptoms of brain damage/encephalitis, high fever, stiff neck, headache, neurological symptoms …).

No specific vaccine or specific treatment against West Nile disease is available. Only symptoms can be treated. Use anti-mosquito measures as prevention (mosquito repellent, lotions with DEET, long sleeves and long trousers, keep rooms mosquito free …).