Diseases -West Nile Virus

Mosquito Borne Diseases

Believe it or not, mosquitoes lead the list of the most deadly animals in the world, ahead of lions, elephants, hippos, and crocs. It’s estimated that 600,000 people die each year of malaria alone, only one of several important mosquito transmitted diseases. Fortunately, malaria was eradicated in the U.S. many years ago through strong public health efforts and effective mosquito control. But this doesn’t mean we’re free of risks of mosquito borne disease today.

Make a selection to learn more about the most important potential diseases carried by mosquitoes in your community.

West Nile virus carried by:
Culex quinquefasciatus (eastern U.S.) and Culex tarsalis (western U.S.)

For more information visit www.cdc.gov/westnile

West Nile Symptoms
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Headache
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Fever
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Vomiting
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Stiff Neck
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Loss of Motor Control
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Body Ache
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Diarrhea
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Joint Pain

West Nile Virus

West Nile virus is a summertime, flu-like virus, with risk highest from June through September. About 80% of people infected with West Nile virus don’t get sick. But for the 20% who do, there are two forms of the disease. West Nile Fever combines a fever with other symptoms like headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash.

West Nile Neurological Disease is more a serious form of the disease. It affects mostly people over 50, and occurs in less than 1% of infected people. Symptoms include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, tremors, seizures, loss of motor control, paralysis and (sometimes) coma.

There is no effective treatment for West Nile virus. Average recovery time is two months, though fatigue and weakness may persist. West Nile Neurological Disease usually means hospitalization and months for recovery. Fatigue and weakness lasts months to years. About 10% of people with this severe form of the illness die.