What are the symptoms of WNV?

WNV affects the central nervous system. However, symptoms vary:

  • Serious Symptoms in a Few People. Less than one % (about one in 150 people) of individuals infected with WNV will develop severe illness. The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These Symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.
  • Milder Symptoms in Some People. Up to 20 % (about one in five) of the people who become infected will display symptoms which can include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms generally last for just a few days, although some people have been sick for several weeks.
  • No Symptoms in Most People. Approximately 80 %of people (about 4 out of 5) who are infected with WNV will not have any symptoms.

Show All Answers

1. What is West Nile Virus?
2. What are the symptoms of WNV?
3. When was West Nile Virus (WNV) first found in the United States?
4. When was West Nile Virus (WNV) first found in California?
5. How is West Nile Virus (WNV) detected and monitored in California?
6. How is West Nile Virus transmitted?
7. How soon do infected people get sick?
8. How is West Nile Virus (WNV) infection treated?
9. What should I do if I think I have West Nile Virus (WNV)?
10. If you have had West Nile Virus (WNV) are you immune (protected) to further infections?
11. Who is at greatest risk of getting severely ill from West Nile Virus?
12. Can animals get sick from West Nile Virus (WNV)?
13. What can a person do to prevent getting sick from West Nile Virus?
14. Can the public assist in detecting West Nile Virus by reporting dead birds?
15. What are state and local agencies doing to reduce the risk of West Nile Virus (WNV) transmission?