Local News

Durham County Reports First Case Of West Nile Virus

Posted October 29, 2003

— West Nile virus has been detected in a person residing in Durham County.

The person was diagnosed with West Nile encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), which has symptoms that include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis. The individual was not hospitalized and is recovering at home.

To date, there have been 20 human cases of West Nile infection reported in North Carolina.

According to the

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

the majority of people infected with West Nile virus have no symptoms.

Twenty percent of the people infected with West Nile virus will develop West Nile fever, which is a mild illness with fever, headaches, body aches, an occasional skin rash and swollen lymph nodes.

The CDC estimates that only one in 150 people infected with West Nile virus will experience severe infection such as West Nile encephalitis, meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord) or meningoencephalitis, a combination of both.

People over 50 years of age have the highest risk of severe disease and possible death.

The most effective strategy to reduce your risk of becoming infected with West Nile virus is the elimination of mosquito-breeding areas around your property.

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