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Many people infected with West Nile virus do not become ill and may not develop symptoms. About 20% of infected people will develop West Nile fever. When symptoms do occur, they may be mild or severe and show up 3 to 15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. • Mild symptoms inlcude flu-like illness with fever, headache, body aches, nausea and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. • Severe symptoms include high fever, neck stiffness and swelling of the brain (encephalitis) which can lead to coma, convulsions and death. Less than 1% of infected people will develop severe symptoms.
In rare cases, the virus has been spread through blood transfusions, organ transplants, breastfeeding and during pregnancy from mother to baby.
Mosquitoes begin to breed in any puddle or standing water that lasts for more than four days. Get rid of mosquito breeding sites around the home. • Clean out gutters and drains • Dispose of old tires • Drain standing water from pool covers. Keep pools chlorinated. Flip over plastic children’s pools when not in use. • Remove all containers that hold water • Change birdbath water every several days • Make sure all windows and doors have screens and that all screens are in good condition.