The West Nile Virus is a serious illness that is often the result of being bitten by an infected mosquito. If the symptoms are recognized quickly enough, proper treatment may be able to curtail the infection rather quickly. In some cases, fatigues and muscle aches can last for several months.
Symptoms of West Nile Virus
There are several symptoms associated with a West Nile Virus infection. The overall health of the patient before they were exposed to the virus can help determine the severity of the symptoms. Its symptoms include:
- Vision loss
- Muscle weakness
If the person already had a severely compromised immune system, paralysis and coma can also occur.
Diagnosis & Treatment Options of West Nile Virus
Diagnosing a West Nile Virus infection normally involves a simple blood test. If the symptoms are severe and seizures are present, the doctor may order a lumbar puncture or spinal tap to see if the infection has spread to the brain. An MRI will also be able to tell if there is swelling of the brain and the surrounding tissues.
Because it's a virus, West Nile has no known cure, but you can effectively treat the symptoms if you catch the disease in its earliest stages.
- Over-the-counter pain medications can lower fever, minimize headaches and muscle pain.
- Anti-inflammatories can help to manage swelling and inflammation.
- IV's and prescription medications may be needed if the infection has spread to the spinal column.
Can West Nile Virus Be Prevented?
The best way to prevent exposure to the West Nile Virus is to minimize your exposure to mosquitoes.
- Keep your skin covered as much as possible.
- Use insect repellent whenever you go outside.
- Get rid of any standing water in your yard or near your home.
- Use mosquito netting over doors and to cover playpens and car seats.
If you begin to notice the symptoms of West Nile Virus, don't wait to go to the doctor or visit an urgent care near you. Early detection is essential if you want the treatment to be effective. Visit your doctor immediately so the proper tests can be performed.