West Nile virus is an infection spread by mosquitoes. It can cause a variety of symptoms.
Many people won't have any symptoms. Others may have mild flu-like symptoms that last a few days. In rare cases, it can be life-threatening.
West Nile is treated with self-care until the virus passes. If you have other health problems caused by West Nile, they will also need to be treated.
To help you feel better:
If you have an upset stomach, it may make it harder to get enough fluids or food. Try doing these:
You may have to stay away from certain activities until you feel better. Slowly return to normal as you feel able.
Some medicines will ease fever or body aches. Your doctor may advise taking acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Note: Aspirin can cause serious health problems in some children with certain infections. Don’t give your child any aspirin or aspirin-containing products until you talk to their doctor first.
If you are taking medicines:
To help lower the chances of mosquito bites:
Mosquitoes get West Nile virus by biting birds that have it. If you see a dead bird, call the public health department. Don't touch the dead bird unless you are wearing gloves that can be used once and thrown away.
Your doctor will need to check on your progress. Go to all scheduled appointments.
Call your doctor if you're not getting better or have other problems such as:
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Public Health Agency of Canada
The College of Family Physicians of Canada
West Nile virus. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/westnile/index.htm. Updated October 30, 2018. Accessed November 20, 2018.
West Nile virus. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niaid.nih.gov/diseases-conditions/west-nile-virus. Accessed November 20, 2018.
West Nile virus infection. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114644/West-Nile-virus-infection. Updated October 25, 2018. Accessed November 20, 2018.
West Nile virus infection. EBSCO Nursing Reference Center website. Available at:https://www.ebscohost.com/nursing/products/nursing-reference-center. Updated July 27, 2018. Accessed November 19, 2018.
Last reviewed November 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board David L Horn, MD, FACP Last Updated: 11/20/2018