West Nile Virus Description West Nile Virus is an infection that is usually transmitted by mosquitoes. Location West Nile Virus is present in 48 out of the 50 states in the United States, excluding Hawaii and Alaska. Outbreaks occur in the summertime. Cause West Nile Virus is most commonly transmitted to humans by mosquitos and only a very small percentage of transmission comes from blood transfusions, organ transplants, and from mother to newborn baby. Keep in mind these are VERY rare. West Nile Virus is not passed on from person to person or from animal to person through common contact. Symptoms About 70-80% of those infected with West Nile Virus do not experience symptoms. A very small percentage of people can experience fevers, headaches, body aches, vomiting, fatigue and weakness and most of which make a full recovery. Treatment There are no vaccines or medications for West Nile Virus. Most of those infected with West Nile Virus do not have any symptoms and less than 1% of those that do develop serious illnesses due to West Nile Virus. If fever occurs, over the counter medications can help reduce symptoms. In very rare and severe cases, patients can be hospitalized. Prevention Wear protective clothing like long sleeves, pants, hats, etc. and use insect repellant especially in the summer months and when around water to prevent mosquito bites. Also be mindful that dusk and dawn are peak mosquito hours. Putting screens on your windows and doors will also help protect against mosquitos as well as emptying large amounts of water found in buckets, pet dishes, birdbaths etc. Handling Animals Seeing a large number of dead birds may be a sign of West Nile Virus. Reporting dead birds to health departments in your area can help prevent West Nile Virus. Do not dispose of the dead birds on your own. Contact professionals in order for the birds to properly be handled and tested. Other Facts Many factors can affect the statistics regarding West Nile Virus including weather patterns, number of birds, the number of mosquitos that carry the virus, and human behavior.