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West Nile Virus

Mandeep Rai, MD  

Mandeep Rai, MD, practices at Banner Thunderbird Medical Center.

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Full Transcript - West Nile Virus Audio

What do you know about the West Nile Virus?

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This is “Ask the Expert” brought to you by Banner Health.

West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne virus that was first detected in the West Nile region of Uganda in 1937. West Nile virus is primarily a bird disease. However, mosquitoes may transmit the virus from an infected host to other birds, animal and humans. Most people that have the infection will show little or no symptoms. 

According to Dr. Mandeep Rai, Medical Director of Infection Control with Banner Thunderbird Medical Center, an estimated 20-percent of those who become infected will develop West Nile fever, which is characterized by a sudden onset of flu-like symptoms. In some rare cases, the virus can cause more serious conditions such as meningitis or encephalitis. West Nile diagnoses are based on the clinical suspicion and the West Nile Virus antibody testing of spinal fluid.

The best prevention is avoidance. Apply insect repellant containing DEET. Wear light-colored, long-sleeved top, pants and socks, when outdoors.

This has been “Ask the Expert” brought to you by Banner Health.

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Page Last Modified: 02/22/2010
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