Infections

Expert reports about Infections


INFORMATION FOR WOMEN WHO HAVE WEST NILE VIRUS WHILE PREGNANT OR BREASTFEEDING

 

What is West Nile Virus?

West Nile Virus (WNV) is one of several viruses that can cause disease in humans and is spread by mosquitos. In this case, the mosquitos involved belong to the genus Culex, usually it is the species Culex pipiens. Usually, WNV does not cause disease, but when it does the condition usually consists of flu-like symptoms and a rash. In a small number of cases, the disease can become very severe and include inflammation of the connective tissue layers that surround and protect the brain (meningitis) and inflammation of the brain itself (encephalitis). Pregnancy is not known to increase the risk of becoming sick from being exposed to WNV as a result of a mosquito bite, but there certainly have been cases of WNV infection coinciding with pregnancy.


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