The Alabama Department of Public Health cautions the public to protect themselves from West Nile virus (WNV) and other mosquito-borne illnesses.
Approximately 1 in 5 people who are infected with WNV will develop symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. Less than 1 percent will develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues). Eight confirmed cases of WNV have been reported in Alabama to date this season, and additional suspected cases will be investigated statewide.
When a person is infected, early recognition and prompt supportive treatment for these illnesses can substantially lower the risk of developing severe disease. About 10 percent of people who develop neurologic infection due to WNV will die.