What are the symptoms of WNV?

WNV affects the central nervous system. Symptoms vary.

No Symptoms in Most People

Approximately 80% of people who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all.

Mild Symptoms in Some People

Up to 20% of the people who become infected will display mild symptoms, including fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms typically last a few days.

Serious Symptoms in a Few People

About one in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness. The severe symptoms can include:

  • High fever
  • Headache
  • Neck stiffness
  • Stupor
  • Disorientation
  • Coma
  • Tremors
  • Convulsions
  • Muscle weakness
  • Vision loss
  • Numbness
  • Paralysis

These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.

Show All Answers

1. What are the symptoms of WNV?
2. How does it spread?
3. How soon do infected people get sick?
4. How is WNV infection treated?
5. What should I do if I think I have WNV?
6. What is the risk of catching WNV?