West Nile fever
A febrile disease caused by the West Nile virus that is transmitted from birds to the common Culex mosquito and then to people. The virus is named after the area it was first found in Uganda. West Nile fever occurs in parts of Africa and Asia and, infrequently, in Southern Europe and the Middle East. The West Nile virus had never been seen in birds or people in the Western Hemisphere prior to an outbreak in the summer of 1999 in New York City. Signs and symptoms include the sudden onset of drowsiness, headache and nausea due to encephalitis, pain in the abdomen, a rash, and swollen glands (lymphadenopathy). These features are usually but not always mild. Fatal cases tend to involve infants and small children under age 5, the aged, and people with an impaired immune system. The outbreak in New York, which was entirely unexpected, reflects the reality of global travel today that can transport exotic viruses to new areas. If a mosquito-borne virus enters a new area, the entire mosquito population may be susceptible, putting everyone living there at risk. West Nile fever is also known as West Nile encephalitis. The virus is closely related to other flaviviruses including those responsible for St. Louis encephalitis, Japanese encephalitis and Murray Valley encephalitis.

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West Nile fever n illness caused by the West Nile virus

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see under encephalitis.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • West Nile fever — noun A disease caused by the West Nile virus that is transmitted from birds to mosquitoes and then to people. Symptoms include drowsiness, headache and nausea, pain in the abdomen, a rash, and swollen glands, and may prove fatal. See Also: West… …   Wiktionary

  • West Nile fever — noun Date: 1943 illness caused by the West Nile virus …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • West Nile fever — a viral disease caused by the West Nile virus (a flavivirus), which is spread by the Culex pipiens mosquito. It causes encephalitis, with influenza like symptoms, enlarged lymph nodes, and a bright red rash on the chest and abdomen. In patients… …   Medical dictionary

  • West Nile fever — a viral disease caused by the West Nile virus (a flavivirus), which is spread by the Culex pipiens mosquito. It causes encephalitis, with influenza like symptoms, enlarged lymph nodes, and a bright red rash on the chest and abdomen. In patients… …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • west nile fever — noun Usage: usually capitalized W&N : illness caused by the West Nile virus …   Useful english dictionary

  • West Nile virus — n. 〚after West Nile District of Uganda, where it was discovered〛 a virus transmitted from infected birds by the common culex mosquito and causing a form of encephalitis (West Nile encephalitis or fever or West Nile encephalitis or West Nile… …   Universalium

  • West Nile virus — n. [after West Nile District of Uganda, where it was discovered] a virus transmitted from infected birds by the common culex mosquito and causing a form of encephalitis (West Nile encephalitis or fever or West Nile encephalitis or West Nile… …   English World dictionary

  • West-Nile-Virus — West Nil Virus West Nil Virus Systematik Reich: Viren Ordnung: nicht klassifiziert …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • West Nile Fieber — West Nil Virus West Nil Virus Systematik Reich: Viren Ordnung: nicht klassifiziert …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • West Nile virus — n a single stranded RNA virus of the genus Flavivirus (species West Nile virus) that causes an illness marked by fever, headache, muscle ache, skin rash, and sometimes encephalitis or meningitis, that is spread chiefly by mosquitoes, and that is… …   Medical dictionary

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