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. Encephalitis can cause confusion, a high fever, and a severe headache. Other symptoms include nausea and 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. It appears that the virus can be passed through breast milk. Talk to your doctor about this if you are breastfeeding.
Most people with the illness get better after treatment. But you may have some symptoms for several weeks or longer while your body heals.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you 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 health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: November 18, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Leslie A. Tengelsen, PhD, DVM - Epidemiology
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