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West Nile fever

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Definition

noun

An acute febrile viral disease caused by West Nile virus characterized by symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle weakness, and sometimes encephalitis or meningitis


Supplement

West Nile ever is a disease caused by the West Nile virus. The virus belongs to the genus Flavivirus. Flavivirus is a genus of the family Flaviviridae (also known as group b arbovirus) containing several subgroups and species. Most of them are arboviruses, which mean they are transmitted by an arthropod species such as mosquitoes and ticks. The hosts of West Nile virus include mosquitoes (e.g. Cules pipiens, Culex tarsalis, and Culex quinquefasciatus), birds (preferentially, the American crow, corvid, and the American robin, and humans. The West Nile virus has a positive-sense, single strand of RNA with nucleotides ranging from 11,000 to 12,000. The genome codes for the three structural proteins and seven non-structural proteins.

The disease is endemic in Africa, Asia, the Mediterranean, and parts of North America. It is characterized by symptoms such as fever, headaches, feeling tired, muscle pain or aches, nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, and rash. The disease is typically not severe. However, if the central nervous system is affected, it could lead to neurological diseases, such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), meningitis (inflammation of the meninges, and poliomyelitis (spinal cord inflammation). Apart from mosquito bite transmission, the West Nile fever may also be transmitted through blood transfusion, organ transplant, intrauterine exposure, and breast feeding.


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