The New York City Health Department reported on the first confirmed human West Nile virus (WNV) of 2017. The patient is less than 50 years of age with underlying medical conditions and is in serious condition at a Manhattan hospital.
The West Nile virus was first detected in New York City 18 years ago. Since 1999, the number of human cases has ranged from three to 47 annually. Of the 317 West Nile virus cases overall, 38 (15 percent) have died due to their infection.
West Nile virus infection can cause a mild or moderate flu-like illness, or sometimes no symptoms at all. In some people, particularly those 60 and older or who have weakened immune systems, West Nile virus can cause a serious and potentially fatal infection of the brain and spinal cord.
The most common symptoms are headache, fever, muscle aches, and extreme fatigue. Symptoms of more severe illness can also include changes in mental status and muscle weakness.
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