In its most severe form, the
However, the vast majority of people have no symptoms at all. Others, about 20 percent of those infected, have mild symptoms for a few days, such as fever, headache, and body aches, nausea and sometimes swollen
The most effective way to avoid West Nile virus is to take measures to prevent mosquito bites, which are the most common cause of infection. Mosquitoes contract the virus from birds and people are therefore advised not to touch dead birds with their bare hands.
The Virginia Department of Health recommends a two-pronged approach to bite prevention: removing mosquito-friendly habitat, such as standing water, and using repellent correctly. That includes using products with the smallest effective amount of DEET, or using plant-based oil of lemon eucalyptus. To apply, adults should spray it on their hands before applying to the face and other exposed areas of skin; they should also apply it for children.
In a very small number of cases, according to the
Symptoms emerge between three and 14 days after a bite. Other than intravenous fluids, there's no treatment for the illness and only severe cases require medical treatment.
Prevent mosquito bites
• Outdoors, use insect repellent containing an
• Have good screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
• Standing water attracts mosquitoes. Empty water from flower pots, buckets, barrels etc. Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly. Drill holes in tire swings to drain water. Empty wading pools and keep on their sides when not in use.