Here's something to think about: If we get West Nile Virus now, while we are healthy enough to go out hunting etc., the chances are extremely small that we will get very sick. We may not even know we get the virus. We should also develop some immunity to future infection from WNV and similar viruses for later in life, when we would be less able to handle an infection.
I may be wrong, but I don't recall having read about a case of serious WNV infection in a healthy adult.
So why worry about it? Maybe we are better off getting it now, if we are in good health. A little like children's "chicken pox parties," maybe?
"People, horses, and most other mammals are not known to develop infectious-level viremias very often, and thus are probably "dead-end" or incidental-hosts."
"Q. If a person contracts West Nile virus, does that person develop a natural immunity to future infection by the virus?
A. It is assumed that immunity will be lifelong; however, it may wane in later years."
"Q. How long does the West Nile virus remain in a person’s body after they are infected?
A. There is no scientific evidence indicating that people can be chronically infected with West Nile virus. What remain in a person’s body for long periods of time are antibodies and “memory” white blood cells (T-lymphocytes) that the body produces to the virus. These antibodies and T-lymphocytes last for years, and may last for the rest of a person’s life. Antibodies are what many diagnostic tests look for when clinical laboratories testing is performed. Both antibodies and “memory” T-lymphocytes provide future protection from the virus."
"What Are the Symptoms of WNV?
WNV affects the central nervous system. Symptoms vary.
No Symptoms in Most People. Approximately 80 percent of people who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all.
Mild Symptoms in Some People. Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected will display mild symptoms, including fever, headache, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms typically last a few days.
Serious Symptoms in a Few People. About one in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness. The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent."
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