HealthyLife® Students' Self-Care Guide

Table of Contents

 Section I–Common Health Problems Caution

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West Nile Virus

Mosquito bites cause West Nile virus if the mosquito is infected with it.

Signs & Symptoms

Most people who get the virus will have no symptoms. About 1 in 5 persons will get mild ones (West Nile fever). Symptoms usually occur 3 to 14 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. See Doctor for the following:

bullet Fever; headache; body aches
bullet Skin rash on the trunk of the body (sometimes)
bullet Swollen lymph glands (sometimes)

About 1 in 150 persons get symptoms of a severe infection (West Nile encephalitis or meningitis). Get Immediate Care for the following:

bullet High fever; stiff neck; severe headache; muscle weakness
bullet Tremors; confusion; convulsions;
bullet Decreasing level of consciousness; paralysis


Protect yourself from mosquito bites. Stay indoors at peak mosquito biting times (dawn, dusk, and early evening). Apply an insect repellent with DEET to clothing and exposed skin to last long enough for  the times you will be outdoors. Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when you are outdoors.

ComputerFor Information, Contact:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

February 19, 2004

©2003, 4th edition. American Institute for Preventive Medicine All rights reserved.