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West Nile encephalitis is an illness that causes inflammation in the brain. It is caused by the West Nile virus. The virus is carried by mosquitoes. This illness can cause confusion, a high fever, and a severe headache. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and a stiff neck and back. West Nile virus is not spread by touching a person who has the virus. Almost all cases are from mosquito bites.
Most people with this illness get better after treatment. But your child may have some symptoms for several weeks or longer.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: July 1, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Leslie Tengelsen PhD, DVM - Zoonotic Disease
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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