Recent cases of West Nile virus infection in the United...

To UNITED STATESrecent cases of human infection with virus West Nile (WN, or West Nile virus) have been reported:

  • Au Massachusetts the Department of Public Health (DPH) announced on August 31, 2022 the first human case of WN infection in the state this year. The case is a 70-year-old woman who was exposed to the virus in the suffolk county.
  • In Californiathe public health department of the los angeles county (Public Health) has confirmed the first human cases of WN virus infection in Los Angeles County for the 2022 season. A total of six cases have been identified, most of whom were hospitalized for their illness in late July and early August . The cases reside in the Valley ofAntelopethe valley of Saint Ferdinand and the valley of Saint Gabriel and all recover.

August and September are the months with most cases of WN infection. Mosquitoes thrive in hot weather, and residents should follow simple steps to reduce the risk of exposure to mosquito-borne diseases.

Reminders on the virus West Nile

The virus West Nile is considered today as the Flavivirus the most common after dengue fever. It belongs to the family of Flaviviridae of the kind Flavivirus. It is migratory birds that act as reservoir animals for the West Nile virus. The West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of mosquitoes of the genus Culex : after biting infected birds, female mosquitoes become competent to transmit the virus to humans during a blood meal.

In the majority of cases (80%), West Nile virus infection is asymptomatic.

  • The symptomatic forms of the disease are characterized by the sudden appearance of a high fever after 3 to 6 days of incubation. This fever is accompanied by headache and back pain, muscle aches, cough, swollen glands in the neck, and often a rash, nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and symptoms respiratory.
  • Neurological complications (meningitis, encephalitis) occur in less than 1% of cases. Even more rarely, other complications (hepatitis, pancreatitis or myocarditis) may appear.
Generally, the patient recovers spontaneously, sometimes with sequelae. But the viral infection can be fatal mainly in older adults.

Travel advice

Although West Nile virus infection is rare among travelers, for protection it is advisable to wear light colored clothing with long sleeves, long pants and socks in areas where mosquitoes are present, especially at dusk and at night. dawn when they are most active; and protect yourself from mosquito bites by using insect repellent containing DEET.

Consult a doctor in case of sudden onset of flu-like symptoms accompanied by a high temperature (fever) after traveling to a risk area.

Source : Outbreak News Today.