What is the pathophysiology of West Nile virus?
WNV directly infects neurons, particularly in deep nuclei and gray matter of the brain, brainstem, and spinal cord (8–10). Collateral destruction of bystander nerve cells may contribute to paralysis (11). Immune-mediated tissue damage may also contribute to pathologic changes in some cases (12).
What is West Nile encephalitis?
West Nile encephalitis is an infection of the brain that is caused by a virus known as the West Nile virus. First identified in Uganda in 1937, the virus is commonly found in Africa, West Asia, and the Middle East. West Nile virus infection has now been reported in all U.S. states except Alaska.
Is West Nile a form of encephalitis?
WNV infection manifests as two clinical syndromes: West Nile fever (WN fever) and West Nile encephalitis (WNE). WNE can be defined as disease that causes encephalitis, meningitis, or acute flaccid paralysis.
How does West Nile virus affect the brain?
Most often, the West Nile virus causes no symptoms or a mild, flu-like illness. But the virus can cause life-threatening illnesses, such as: Inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) Inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis)
What does West Nile virus do to the body?
About 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Most people with febrile illness due to West Nile virus recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months. Serious symptoms in a few people.
How West Nile encephalitis is caused?
West Nile virus maintains itself in nature by cycling between mosquitoes in the genus Culex and certain species of birds. A mosquito (the vector) bites an uninfected bird (the host), the virus amplifies within the bird, an uninfected mosquito bites the bird and is in turn infected.