West Nile Virusenparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/P-infectWestnile-enHD-AR1.jpgThe threat of West Nile virus has made getting a mosquito bite a cause for concern. What is West Nile virus, and what can you do to prevent it?west nile virus, mosquitoes, mosquito bites, insects, insect repellents, mosquito seasons, deet, skin so soft, permethrin, dead birds, dead crows, infected birds, summer, bug bites, encephalitis, west nile epidemic, how is west nile virus transmitted, standing waters, mosquito breeding grounds, surveillance, spraying for mosquitoes, CD1Infectious Disease07/05/200102/20/202002/20/2020Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD02/10/2020444f736f-d5c1-4f56-9ce3-7e3068410278https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/west-nile.html/<h3>What Is West Nile Virus?</h3> <p>West Nile virus is a <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/germs.html/">virus</a> that can pass to people through the bite of an infected <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/mosquito-diseases.html/">mosquito</a>. The best way to prevent infection with West Nile virus is to prevent mosquito bites.</p> <h3>What Are the Signs &amp; Symptoms of West Nile Virus Infection?</h3> <p>Most of the time, a bite from a mosquito infected with West Nile virus doesn't make a person sick or cause symptoms. When symptoms do happen, they're usually mild and can include:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/fever.html/">fever</a></li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/headache.html/">headache</a></li> <li>body aches</li> <li>joint pain</li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/vomit.html/">vomiting</a> or <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/diarrhea.html/">diarrhea</a></li> <li>skin rash</li> </ul> <p>Rarely, a person can get very ill with problems that affect the central nervous system, such as <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/encephalitis.html/">encephalitis</a> or <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/meningitis.html/">meningitis</a>. Their symptoms can include:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/take-temperature.html/">high fever</a></li> <li>severe headache</li> <li>neck stiffness</li> <li>being confused or disoriented</li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/seizure.html/">seizures</a></li> <li>paralysis</li> <li>coma</li> </ul> <p>Severe illness can life-threatening, especially in the elderly and people who are already sick.</p> <h3>How Do People Get West Nile Virus?</h3> <p>Mosquitoes get infected by feeding on birds that carry West Nile virus. They can spread it to people and animals through bites. In the U.S., only one kind of mosquito (out of 175 types) can pass the West Nile virus.</p> <p>The virus isn't contagious, so it can't spread from person to person.</p> <h3>How Is West Nile Virus Infection Diagnosed?</h3> <p>If someone has symptoms of West Nile virus, doctors consider:</p> <ul> <li>whether the person lives in or traveled to an area where infected mosquitoes have been found</li> <li>the season (mosquitoes are more active in warm weather)</li> </ul> <p>The doctor can send a blood sample to a lab to test for the infection.</p> <p>Someone with symptoms of encephalitis or meningitis may get a <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/emmi-lumbar-puncture.html/">lumbar puncture (spinal tap)</a>. This test collects some fluid from around the brain and spinal cord for testing in a lab.</p> <h3>How Is West Nile Virus Infection Treated?</h3> <p>Most West Nile virus infections get better on their own. <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/acetaminophen.html/">Acetaminophen</a> or <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/ibuprofen.html/">ibuprofen</a> can help ease minor aches and pains, and drinking plenty of fluids can prevent <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/dehydration.html/">dehydration</a>.</p> <p>Someone with more serious symptoms needs care in a hospital, with <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/intravenous-line.html/">IV</a> fluids, breathing help, and other treatments. There is no specific medicine for West Nile encephalitis or meningitis. <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/antibiotic-video.html/">Antibiotics</a> will not work because a virus, not bacteria, causes West Nile disease. No vaccine for the virus is currently available.</p> <h3>Can West Nile Virus Infection Be Prevented?</h3> <p>The best way to protect yourself and your family from the West Nile virus is to prevent mosquito bites. Be sure to:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Use screens on doors and windows, and repair broken or damaged screens right away. Keep unscreened doors and windows shut.</li> <li>Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes, and socks when outside.</li> <li>Use <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/repellent.html/">insect repellent</a> as directed. Choose one with DEET or picaridin. For kids over 3 years old, you also can use oil of lemon eucalyptus.</li> <li>Limit time outside around dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.</li> <li>Don't give mosquitoes places to breed. They lay their eggs in water, so get rid of standing water in things like buckets, trash cans, and tires. Empty and clean birdbaths, dog bowls, and flowerpots at least once a week.</li> </ul> <h3>What Else Should I Know?</h3> <p>Communities help health officials track West Nile virus infection patterns. If you see a dead bird in your area, do not touch it with your bare hands. Instead, contact your state or local health department to ask what to do with it. If they get a lot of reports of dead birds, they can look to see if they were infected with West Nile virus. If so, health officials can spray the area with pesticides or do other things to help control mosquitoes.</p>
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Bug Bites and StingsGenerally, insect bites and stings are harmless. Find out how to keep pests from ruining your fun.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/bug-bites.html/3b3949de-2ab8-470e-871d-35c8e648835d
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Dengue FeverYou're not at risk of this illness in the U.S., but if you live in or are traveling to a tropical country it's wise to take precautions against this virus.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/dengue.html/2d7fd7a5-0b9c-4abe-b73a-2fe89a04026a
EncephalitisEncephalitis is a rare brain inflammation caused by a virus. The best way to avoid encephalitis is to prevent the illnesses that may lead to it.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/encephalitis.html/795b42b2-aa4c-40bc-98b2-f823dc931441
Hey! A Mosquito Bit Me!There are thousands of different kinds of mosquitoes in many different sizes and colors. Learn all about mosquitoes and how they bite you in this article.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/mosquito.html/1fc17e08-ebc2-41af-9402-b8ffc29fdae5
Lyme DiseaseLyme disease can affect the skin, joints, nervous system, and other organ systems. If Lyme disease is diagnosed quickly and treated with antibiotics, most people feel better quickly.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/lyme.html/d17f5ce5-05a0-4d44-92e2-490eccd510ec
MalariaMalaria - a common infection in hot, tropical areas - is a leading cause of death worldwide. But if diagnosed early and treated, it can be cured.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/malaria.html/fc44144e-3892-42a5-9d12-873fe5ef3ff1
MeningitisMeningitis is treatable, but can be serious. So it's important to know the symptoms, and get medical care right away if you think that your child has the illness.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/meningitis.html/34c8fd7f-bcc2-44fc-aa3a-6865f516c26c
Mosquito-Borne DiseasesMosquito-borne diseases are illnesses spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/mosquito-diseases.html/dcd6a947-6a9d-45b7-8f6a-50aa8a5b0a75
Zika VirusWith so much media coverage about Zika virus, it's natural to feel worried. The virus is of most concern for pregnant women and women who may become pregnant.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/zika-virus.html/3b1fd088-72d8-4e9d-a05e-b7e1fa760f44
kh:age-allAgesOrAgeAgnostickh:clinicalDesignation-infectiousDiseasekh:genre-articlekh:primaryClinicalDesignation-infectiousDiseaseBacterial & Viral Infectionshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/infections/bacterial-viral/401507d2-7822-44aa-8109-e54dc4c18e61Outdoor Safetyhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/firstaid-safe/outdoor/d920ac5a-dabb-473c-9df7-ce1b97a9b043