West Nile Virus: Keep it on your radar

The State developed this document to remind physicians to "Think West Nile". It is in their CD Brief for last week. Our lab does not do West Nile testing, but will forward specimens to the State.

The rationale for West Nile Virus testing:

While there is no specific treatment for WNV, there are a number of critical reasons to test patients with symptoms compatible with WNV disease including:

  • Differentiating WNV from other conditions such as enterovirus and other arboviral diseases
  • Both WNV neuroinvasive disease and WNV fever patients can have lingering symptoms and identification of the underlying etiology is helpful for the patient and family members.
  • A febrile WNV patient may have another family member who is at risk for an invasive WNV disease (since it is often acquired near the place of residence) – a positive patient may function as a local sentinel indicating infected mosquitoes are in the area.
  • Mosquito control and public health agencies can institute proper control measures to prevent further cases.

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