West Nile Virus Can Cause Lifelong Symptoms

Posted on March 28, 2008

WebMD (on CBS) is reporting that a new study on West Nile Virus has found that one out of every 150 people infected suffer from severe nuerological disease. Of those about 40% have serious symptoms such as difficulty walking, memory loss and depression that they may deal with for the rest of their lives.

The article says that 60% of patients monitored had serious symptoms one year after being diagnosed with the West Nile virus. 42% of the patients had still not fully recovered five years later. That is a disturbingly long recovery time for nearly half the people.

These findings show that WNV is a very serious disease. People should continue to take precautions and avoid mosquito bites as much as possible during the mosquito season. WNV is still infecting thousands of people in the United States each year. 3,598 people were infected with West Nile Virus in 2007 and 121 were killed.

Graphic above is from the CDC's 2007 WNV incidence map.

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