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Health Tip: Understanding West Nile Virus

Please note: This article was published more than one year ago. The facts and conclusions presented may have since changed and may no longer be accurate. And "More information" links may no longer work. Questions about personal health should always be referred to a physician or other health care professional.

(HealthDay News) -- West Nile Virus is an infection that is spread by mosquitoes, and is commonly found in Africa, West Asia and the Middle East.

The virus made its way to the United States in 1999 and has been reported in 48 states, the American Academy of Family Physicians says.

The main symptoms of West Nile Virus could include skin rash, fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, swollen lymph nodes and an achy feeling in the back.

Symptoms tend to occur 3 to 14 days after a person is bitten by an infected mosquito.

The academy suggests how to avoid the infection:

  • Dump any standing water near your home that could provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
  • Repair any tears in window screens.
  • Stay inside during dawn, dusk and early evening.
  • Use an insect repellent containing DEET.

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