West Nile Virus

Who's at risk?

Most people infected with West Nile experience no symptoms, but a small number of people (about 1 in 150) develop a severe form known as West Nile Encephalitis or West Nile Meningitis, an inflammation around the brain which can cause permanent neurological effects and death.

People over age 50 and those who have received an organ transplant are most likely to develop serious symptoms if infected.


Though most people infected with West Nile Virus do not show symptoms, some have experienced:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Skin rash on the chest, stomach and back.
  • Symptoms can last a few days to several weeks. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your health care provider.

Severe cases

Individuals who develop the more severe West Nile Encephalitis or West Nile Meningitis also experience:

  • Mental confusion
  • Muscle weakness
  • Tremors (shaking)
  • Convulsions
  • Paralysis
  • Coma


Find out more about the West Nile Virus through your health care provider, or use the resources available on these government public health sites:


Other information