What is West Nile Fever?
Summary of disease
West Nile virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. West Nile fever can cause fatal neurological disease in humans and horses and it has been commonly found in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, North America and West Asia.
The majority of patients are asymptomatic. The most common symptoms are: headache, low-grade fever, joint and body pains and a rash might be present. Severe neuroinvasive complications may occur in rare cases.
Diagnosis, treatment and prevention
Specialised laboratory diagnostic investigation for West Nile fever is required to confirm or exclude diagnosis. Typically, the viraemic phase of West Nile fever are so short and negative RT-PCR results does not exclude the diagnosis of a West Nile virus infection. Protection against mosquitos is the mainstay of prevention in West Nile virus prevalent areas. There is no prophylaxis or vaccine to prevent the infection.