The first human case of West Nile virus (WNV) in 2015 has been confirmed in North Dakota, while the State’s Department of Health (DoH) has also reported that two mosquito pools from Grand Forks County have tested positive for WNV.

The female patient, a resident of McLean County, is in her 40s and has not been hospitalized for her illness. In 2014, the North Dakota DoH documented 23 people that tested positive for WNV of which eight were hospitalized and one died.

Symptoms of WNV include fever, headache, body aches, and rash. More severe cases may include stiff neck, confusion, paralysis, coma, and possibly death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that WNV disease should be considered in any person with a febrile or acute neurologic illness who has had recent exposure to mosquitoes, blood transfusion, or organ transplantation especially during the summer months with reported virus activity. The incubation period for WNV disease is typically 2–6 days but ranges from 2–14 days and can be several weeks in immunocompromised people. About 70–80% of human WNV infections are subclinical or asymptomatic.

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There is currently no specific treatment for WNV disease and no WNV vaccines are licensed for human use. Patients with severe meningeal symptoms often require pain control for headaches and antiemetic therapy and rehydration for associated nausea and vomiting, while those with Patients with encephalitis may require close monitoring for the development of elevated intracranial pressure and seizures.

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