Watch | What is the West Nile virus?

A video explainer on the West Nile virus

Published - August 28, 2022 04:27 pm IST

At a time when the world is fighting a Monkeypox outbreak and the Covid-19 pandemic, a new virus is causing panic in New York City

The West Nile virus has been found in two people in New York

And in the USA, over 50 West Nile virus infections and four deaths have been reported this year. The West Nile virus has also soared in Europe with over 100 cases just this year

The earliest known case of the virus was recorded in the West Nile District of Uganda in 1937.

The virus spreads through an infected mosquito bite.

Around one in five people infected with the virus show flu-like symptoms like fever, body ache, vomiting, diarrhoea, and rashes. About one in 150 people are severely affected by the virus and develop serious illnesses related to the central nervous system.

While the virus is not contagious, there is a rare possibility of human-to-human transmission through blood transfusion or organ transplant.

The incubation period is usually 3 to 14 days. Currently, there are no vaccines available to treat infections.

The West Nile virus was first detected in New York City more than 20 years ago. It is now considered endemic in the State of New York

This time, the city’s health department said that a record number of mosquitoes across the city had traces of the virus

Over 1,060 positive mosquito pools have been identified across the city so far. This is the highest number ever recorded.

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