West Nile Virus -causes, Symptoms, Treatment

By: james sameul

Treatment of West Nile Virus

The West Nile virus (WNV) was first detected in the Western Hemisphere in 1999 and has since rapidly spread across the North Americcan continent into all 48 continental states, seven Canadian provinces, and throughout Mexico. In addition, WNV activity has been detected in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Guadeloupe and El Salvador.West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne infection that can cause encephalitis (inflammation of brain tissue) and/or meningitis (swelling of the tissue that encloses the brain and spinal cord). Native to parts of the Old World, WNV was first detected in North America in the summer of 1999, in New York City, NY; a dead crow at the Bronx Zoo was one of the first harbingers of what was to come.

West Nile virus (WNV) is an infectious disease that first appeared in the United States in 1999. Infected mosquitoes spread the virus that causes it. People who contract WNV usually have no symptoms or mild symptoms. As Spring continues, WNV activity will become more widespread, so protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites. West Nile virus can cause serious, life-altering and even fatal disease.

Symptoms of West Nile Virus
You may have tremors, muscle aches, and fatigue for months after the illness, especially if your brain became infected. Other possible effects include seizures, memory loss, personality changes, paralysis, and symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease. Some of these problems may last a long time.

The symptoms of severe disease (also called neuroinvasive disease, such as West Nile encephalitis or meningitis or West Nile poliomyelitis) include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, and paralysis. It is estimated that approximately 1 in 150 persons infected with the West Nile virus will develop a more severe form of disease.

Treatment Overview
Supportive treatment for West Nile virus can include receiving fluids through a vein (intravenous, or IV), help with breathing (using a ventilator), and prevention of secondary infections, such as pneumonia. For more information, see the topic Encephalitis.

In 2007 the World Community Grid launched a project where by computer modeling of the West Nile Virus (and related viruses) thousands of small molecules are screened for their potential anti-viral properties in fighting the West Nile Virus. This is a project which by the use of computer simulations potential drugs will be identified which will directly attack the virus once a person is infected.

This is a distributed process project similar to SETI@Home where the general public downloads the World Community Grid agent and the program (along with thousands of other users) screens thousands of molecules while their computer would be otherwise idle. If the user needs to use the computer the program sleeps. There is no specific therapy. In more severe cases, intensive supportive therapy is indicated, i.e., hospitalization, intravenous (IV) fluids and nutrition, airway management, ventilatory support (ventilator) if needed, prevention of secondary infections (pneumonia, urinary tract, etc.), and good nursing care.

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