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West Nile Virus

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Understanding West Nile Virus

The West Nile Virus first emerged in the Western Hemisphere in 1999 in the New York City area and has since spread across the United States. The virus is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes.

Most human infections are mild, causing fever, headache, and body aches, often accompanied by a skin rash and swollen lymph glands. If the virus crosses the blood-brain barrier, however, it can cause life-threatening conditions that include inflammation of the brain and spinal cord.

Last Updated April 02, 2008