On the eve of a dangerous season: what is important to know about the West Nile fever

For the first time seriously about the West Nile fever started talking in 1937, when the first serious epidemiological outbreak occurred. This acute viral disease is characterized by erythema, polyadenopathy, as well as possible inflammation of meningeal membranes. The causative agent of the disease is the flavivirus belonging to the B group. You can get infected at any age, but people are more affected than the disease after fifty years. Until now, there is no special antiviral medication for West Nile fever, and all treatment is reduced directly to the relief of obvious symptoms.


  • 1 Causes and Diagnosis of the Disease
  • 2 Main Symptoms of the Disease
  • 3 Treatment and Prevention of the Disease

Causes and Diagnosis of the Disease

People's susceptibility to illness depends mainly on geographical location. For example, in more southerly countries, such as Egypt, children are most often affected, and in more northern ones adults are already affected.

In our country, low-endemic areas include southern regions, such as the Volgograd, Astrakhan, as well as the Stavropol Territory and the Krasnodar Territory .The West Nile fever has no sexual limitations, and the most active period of spread is at the end of summer, the beginning of autumn.

In Russia, this disease was first registered in 1999, but its serious surge occurred at the end of 2014 and early 2015.Under the blow was the Volgograd region, which already revealed several dozen diseased, as well as a number of other southern regions. It is predicted that in the coming years the disease will spread to some northern regions of the country.

Virus LZN

Circulation Scheme of the Virus Western Nile Fever

In most cases, the disease is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito carrier or tick. Those in turn become infected through birds, animals or bats, which are the source of the disease. The likelihood of infection through any medical procedures is extremely small. In addition, in hospitals, there is ongoing monitoring for the presence of this virus in the donor blood or organs.

There are several methods of diagnosing this disease. First of all, those persons who have been in certain endemic areas for a long time are subject to research. In case of suspicion of West Nile fever, a general blood test or lumbar puncture is done. Some serological diagnostic methods are also used. To detect the genetic material of the main causative agent of the disease in the body allows the genetic method, in which not only the blood but also the cerebrospinal fluid is examined.

The main symptoms of the disease

Since the moment the causative agent enters the body and before the first symptoms appear, it usually takes eight days, and in some individual cases this time can be increased to three weeks. In most cases, the apparent symptomatology begins with a rise in body temperature to forty degrees, there is a chill, pain in the head and eyes. Vomiting may begin, the patient begins to feel a general malaise.

In dangerous areas where there is a chance of catching the West Nile fever, it is recommended that you use repellents, and wear long clothing and a hat.

Symptoms of West Nile fever include strong face redness, development of conjunctivitis, granularity of mucous membranes. The patient may develop scleritis and pharyngitis, rash and dyspepsia. Also for this disease is characterized by muscle pain, convulsions, dizziness and respiratory disorders. A heavier form of the disease can lead to a coma.

Treatment and prevention of the disease

Since the disease refers to viral, its therapy is reduced to the use of virion preparations. At the moment, you can only stop the symptoms of the disease. On average, the course of treatment is ten days, if complications are diagnosed, it can be prolonged to thirty days. After recovery, it is recommended to constantly monitor the doctor for a long period, up to the full restoration of work capacity.

Geography of the West Nile fever

Scheme of treatment and prevention of West Nile fever

If the disease occurs with high intracranial pressure, the patient is prescribed furosimide, as well as preparations containing potassium. In the case of cerebral edema, the use of mannitol or dexamethasone is recommended. Intravenous infusions of various polyionic solutions, for example trisol or albumin, may also be prescribed. Often in the course of treatment include oxygen inhalation.

If the patient has severe seizures, the doctor prescribes the use of Relanium. To improve cerebral circulation, the use of pentoxifelin is recommended. In the case of secondary infections, antibiotic therapy may be prescribed together with the complex application of vitamin preparations. During illness it is desirable to observe the regime of the day, and to eat well.

Measures to prevent the West Nile fever are reduced to a decrease in the number of mosquitoes and ticks. For this, the anti-mosquito treatment of the areas on which the insects are bred is conducted by the relevant services. The basements of residential and administrative buildings are also being processed. In the active season of the disease in hazardous areas, people should be minimized outdoors, and clothing that can protect against mosquito bites should be avoided.

The disease can be wavy, with several relapses occurring at intervals of several days. It is recommended that, when the first symptoms occur, seek medical help immediately. In most cases, with the confirmation of the diagnosis, inpatient treatment is prescribed. If you strictly follow all the recommendations of a doctor and undergo a complete course of therapy, then the recovery will be complete without residual effects.