We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is the Treatment for West Nile Virus?

Nicole Madison
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Many who contract West Nile virus, a disease transmitted by a mosquito bite, do not require treatment, though some need hospital monitoring. Those who contract a mild form of West Nile Virus may not need treatment of any sort, however, and symptoms often go away within several days. These people may benefit from using pain relievers for uncomfortable symptoms. Some, however, may develop encephalitis or meningitis, diseases marked by inflammation of the brain or spinal chord membranes. There is no cure for either of these conditions, and many diagnosed with them require hospital supervision to allow their health to stabilize and to prevent other infections.

Treatment for West Nile virus varies with each infected person. Many people who become infected with it never experience symptoms or adverse effects, and as such, do not need treatment. Others may suffer from mild symptoms such as aches, pains, and fever, which can be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers. Other symptoms may include swollen lymph glands, nausea, sore throat, and loss of appetite, but they do not usually require hospitalization and often fade within one week.

In contrast, some people contract severe West Nile virus and require hospitalization. In severe cases, a person may be diagnosed with either encephalitis or meningitis as well. These diseases are associated with brain or spinal chord membrane inflammation, brain damage, and even death. Like West Nile virus, these diseases are not caused by bacteria and do not respond to antibiotics. Instead, the treatment for West Nile virus for those with severe cases typically includes hospitalization for monitoring and supportive care.

Although doctors can only treat the symptoms of West Nile virus, research may eventually reveal a cure or more effective treatment options. Vaccine studies may also result in a vaccine that can be used to prevent disease contraction. Some scientists feel particularly optimistic about this possibility, as there is a vaccine effective for use in horses. Additionally, some scientists and medical professionals assert that interferon therapy may prove helpful as a treatment for West Nile virus. It involves using substances made by the immune system as part of the treatment.

Since there is no proven-effective treatment for West Nile virus, prevention may be the key. A person can avoid this disease by taking steps to make his environment less attractive to mosquitoes, such as getting rid of standing water near his home and possibly spraying the area with an outdoor pesticide. Additionally, a person may do well to don long sleeves and pants when he plans to be outdoors in areas highly populated with mosquitoes. He may also spray his exposed skin and clothing with a repellent.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGEEK writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.

Discussion Comments

Nicole Madison

Nicole Madison

Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGEEK writer, where she focuses on topics like...
Read more
WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.