Talk:West Nile virus

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Added text[edit]

A recent study (Dec '09) on patients with previous severe WNV infection showed that the virus can persist in the kidneys for many years after inital infection, particularly for those who still displayed symptoms. It seems that kidney failure is a possibility if this happens, and something I think should be added to the article, but I don't know how to do it, so I hope someone who knows how can add it.

Summary: Journal:

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:43, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

Some people claim intravenous vitamin c can cure west nile. It sounds controversial but who knows?

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:26, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Added text from public domain resource at -- Anon.

Industry dominates the disease definition. Non-orthodox research is not allowed to be linked here. Toxicological correlations for this disease may be seen here
Could someone please tell me why it's so worrisome, especially considering that influenza kills at least 100 times more people per year in the US? - user:Montrealais

In the same vein as Montrealais I'm going to add some dissenting viewpoints about spraying and the media attention given to this thing. -- wji

Disproportionate media coverage?

While i'll submit that there has been much more media concern over WNV than something like influenza, WNV is a virus that we can easily eradicate if people would take the right precautions. People who think that WNV is just an exaggerated problem are the same people who refuse to get vaccinated for polio. It's because of them that polio still exists in the world today.

It's also worth noting that even though WNV isn't currently an epidemic, malaria(which shares very similar modes of transmission) is.

The statements as to why there is disproportionate media coverage are biased at best. I don't think it's appropriate to be stating one side or another, so i won't be including my thoughts either.


If this is so widespread around the world, does anyone have numbers on how many it kills in other countries each year? Thius page could use more balance. --rmhermen

replaced 'Some have speculated that fears of West Nile are due to xenophobia.' Some may have, but since the disease is not spread by 'foreigners', it's a silly speculation and simply false. I think what was probably meant is that it was a disease not native to the areas where it is currently reported. Someone else

In the "control" section, some statements are made that just don't seem right. "The government has also taken it upon itself to spray entire communities with massive amounts of insect repellent although they do not address the fact that spraying the air with dangereous chemicals may in fact do much more harm than the West Nile Virus." Which one does "The government" refer to? I'm assuming US, but it should say. Also, what "dangerous" chemicals are used? The author of the paragraph assumes some knowledge, but does not share it.

This duplicate page was created at "West Nile Virus": I have turned it into a redirect, bacause this article appears to cover everything in the duplicate.

West Nile Virus

User "" has This article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by fixing it.

West Nile Virus is a flavivirus commonly found in Africa, West Asia, and the Middle East. It is closely related to St. Louis encephalitis virus found in the United States. The virus can infect humans, birds, mosquitoes, horses and some other mammals.

“West Nile fever is a case of mild disease in people, characterized by flu-like symptoms. West Nile fever typically lasts only a few days and does not appear to cause any long-term health effects.

More severe disease due to a person being infected with this virus can be “West Nile encephalitis,” West Nile meningitis or West Nile meningoencephalitis.” Encephalitis refers to an inflammation of the brain, meningitis is an inflammation of the membrane around the brain and the spinal cord, and meningoencephalitis refers to inflammation of the brain and the membrane surrounding it.[1]


Centers for Disease Control (US) web site: [2]

Why isn't there an effective vaccine or treatment for West Nile Virus in humans? If there have been deaths by this disease, shouldn't our medical scientists have found a way to treat, or at least vaccine the disease?

It has killed thousands but malaria and AIDS have killed millions and we don't have vaccines against them yet either. They are working on it, though. Rmhermen 01:21, Apr 2, 2005 (UTC)
many vaccines are on the horizon. Antibodies against other flaviviruses have proven to be effective against WNV, however investment in research isn't very economical. Pharm companies would rather wait for it to be an epidemic, then cash in.genius86
You can't just ""make"" a vaccine, decades of research are necessary and those scientists have more pressing diseases to be working on. - 13:49, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

An equine WNV vaccine is currently available, and a number of human vaccine candidates are at various stages of testing now.--CharantiTalk 18:29, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Re US outbreak: user has removed reference to source being due to an air traveller, and instead has stated that could have leaked from Plum Island and that Donald Rumsfeld had sold it to Saddam Hussein. I've no idea whether this might be true - it just sounds possibly dodgy. Finbarr Saunders 05:32, 15 August 2005 (UTC)

I can remember New York City local news reporting suspicions that the 1999 West Nile virus outbreak in the New York City area resulted from a deliberate release of the virus by the government of Iraq. The suspicions apparently arose due to the ATCC's and/or CDC's known sale of West Nile virus to Iraq during the 1980s (see United States and weapons of mass destruction). Shouldn't we at least mention the suspicions of Iraqi involvement - if only in one line? 13:40, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

I think the Layman comprehension" probably would helped a lot by putting more in-article links on technical terms, keeping the authors/editors' flow intact but making layman-level definitions/descriptions/contextual information for some of the terminology and its significance would make the article much more non-expert accessible. I don't know if Wikipedia's structure or policy allows mouse-over popus, but Think think in c ases like this, a mouseover pop link containing a concise overview of a term or the significance of say, the virus' number of nucleotides would help the non-expert's comprehension and reading flow better by not having to jump into and out of whole other pages. (talk) 11:51, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

Tiger Mosquito Inconsistency[edit]

The article for the Asian Tiger Mosquito claims that it is not a known carrier, while this article claims it is. Someone please research this and find out which is true. LokiClock (talk) 14:53, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Re-wrote first paragraph[edit]

Added more details about mammals and clearer statement about main route of transmission. In later section added occupational exposure as documented route of transmission--FloNight 04:07, 15 December 2005 (UTC)


This article is seriously outdated there is 2005 information on the CDC site. I'm too lazy to update all of the article myself though. And a factual error. Here [3] CDC tells there were 9862 reported human cases and 264 deaths in 2003. While in the article it states this: "In the 2003 outbreak, 9,858 cases and 262 deaths were reported by the CDC".

About the supposed factual error, please note that the CDC continues to update it numbers (both up and down) months even years after the fact. About the lack of 2005 numbers, I am the one who usually updates them. In the early stages I updated the numbers monthly or more frequently but I later decided it was just too many edits. I will update it now but note that large changes to the 2005 will continue until about June of next year. Rmhermen 04:39, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

Allright, but i suppose those numbers are things the external reviewers count as an error.( 21:38, 22 January 2006 (UTC))

No those things are listed below. Rmhermen 23:41, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Errors ID'd by Nature, to correct[edit]

The results of what exactly Nature suggested should be corrected is out... italicize each bullet point once you make the correction. -- user:zanimum

  • Stiff neck or menimgismus is actually a very rare finding with WNV
  • Blood banks in the US are routinely screening for WNV in their donor pools during epidemic season.
  • In the diagnostic assay, although cross-reactive antibodies are a problem for the ELISA, the diagnosis can be secured by an additional functional (neutralization) test
  • 2nd Par in 'History' - Many birds are infected. Corvids are more suscectible to lethal infection
  • The bit about immunohistochenistry staining is misleading – the virus shows up brown because of a substrate-enzyme reaction

I notice that someone just removed the statement about "stiff neck" as a symptom. Note that the reviewer didn't say this was never a symptom, just that it was very rare. If this is the case, please put in some statement about how often this symptom occurs.

In general, please don't just remove disputed statements. Do some homework so that you can replace them with a more accurate description. For one thing, this will prevent someone else from ignorantly re-inserting the same misconception in a year or two. —Steven G. Johnson 01:04, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

About point 2, I presume this must be a "error of omission" as the article says nothing about American blood banks at all. About point 4, the 2nd paragraph of the history section has read "and many birds—especially crows and other corvids—are infected." for several years. Is the problem the lack of a mention of extra mortality of corvids? Mortality is discussed nowhere in that paragraph for any species. Rmhermen 04:35, 23 December 2005 (UTC)
I have corrected the stiff neck sentence. Interestingly the reviewer spelt meningismus incorrectly. Onco_p53 02:38, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

Errors in virion description[edit]

I rewrote the introduction that describes the virus particle reconstructions. These are not the same as photgraphs. Moreover, WN particles are remarkably similar to those of dengue. AND, could someone please tell me where that strange purple picture came from? What is it supposed to represent? Lindenb 21:07, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

The image is claimed to be of West Nile virus and uploaded from the NIAID. The American Society for Microbiology also used this image with that caption in 2003[4]. Rmhermen 21:18, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

citations needed[edit]

A citation is needed that west nile virus can infect all the species listed in the opening paragraph. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 00:35, 8 January 2007 (UTC).

Citations are generally avoided in the lead section. Rmhermen 02:48, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
WP:Lead recommends that the lead of the article not present any new information, but only summarize what is in the article. On that theory, it could be argued that citations would not be needed in the lead. However, that breaks down if the information in the lead is NOT also in body of the article. In this case, it is not. If you search for "chipmunk" for instance, you will see that this word is only in the lead of the article. This is just one example. This information needs to be cited. Johntex\talk 02:57, 6 March 2007 (UTC)


The article does not seem to include anything on the effects on humans. What are the symptoms? Is it fatal? If so, what is the mortality rate? How long does the disease typically take to present and to progress to completeion? Can someone knowledgeable please add this information to the article? Johntex\talk 02:53, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

"West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease (WNND) ... resulting in ... poliomyelitis.[37]" -- Uh, what? It's my understanding that poliomyelitis is caused exclusively by the poliovirus. The citation dates back to 1947, which leads me to believe that this reference is an error in speciation. Can someone clarify this? RoboNerd (talk) 21:27, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
Well there is this though it is a from 2004. Biosthmors (talk) 21:57, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

Recent Toronto article[edit]

There was a recent Toronto Star article about new information of how the virus spreads - in particular, something like 80% of cases in Toronto were within several kilometres of an urban park/urban forest. Does anyone know how to find it online? It was older than a week, but fairly recent. Esn 09:30, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Adding a link[edit]

I work for the America's Most Wanted Safety Center, a new department of America's Most Wanted getting away from the capturing of criminals, and branching out to all aspects of safety. I feel a link to our post about preventing West Nile infection would be appropriate and mutually beneficial, as anyone seeking knowledge about West Nile virus would benefit from knowledge about preventing it. The link is please consider it. Jrosenfe 14:35, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

What is the prognosis for infected persons?

Lost Foals[edit]

I have read and heard about this disease's vaccine harming unborn foals, reducing fertility in stallions and mares. I think there should be a link to The-Lost-Foals group, of which I'll put a link up later on. [5]Punk19


"The disease was first noted in horses in Egypt and France in the early 1960s and found to be widespread in southern Europe, southwest Asia and Australia."

Where is this information from? From what I know WNV does not exist in Australia, let alone Oceania; mainly due to a competitive virus impeding colonization (Kunjin virus I believe). -- Permafrost 09:59, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Where is the distributed computing project link?[edit]

"The software and information about the project can be found at: (end of page)" -- where?? (talk) 06:33, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Impact on native bird species?[edit]

I have read and heard through several sources that the west nile virus is decimating, or at least having a severe negative impact on the bird populations of North America. Is this something that the article should address also? I agree that most people are concerned about the human impact, but the birds mentioned in the article are suffering as well, not just carrying. (talk) 16:15, 9 May 2008 (UTC)Felch Dumas

WNV is also found in alligators. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:42, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Problem sentence under Symptoms[edit]

Can someone fix this text so that it makes sense?

West Nile Virus (WNV) has three different effects on humans. The first is an asymptomatic infection; the second is a mild febrile syndrome termed West Nile Fever; the third is a neuroinvasive disease termed West Nile meningitis or encephalitis. In many infected individuals the ratio between the three states is roughly 110:30:1.

  • Being asymptomatic isn't an effect, by definition.
  • It isn't clear what a "ratio between the three states" means. Ratio of what? The best interpretation I can give it—that in a given individual, the infection is 110 parts asymptomatic, 30 parts fever, and 1 part encephalitis, makes no sense. Perhaps it means that the relative incidence of the three forms among infected individuals is in that ratio, but then the "in many infected individuals" phrase doesn't make sense—which individuals are being excluded before determining the ration among the remainder?

—Largo Plazo (talk) 11:35, 25 June 2009 (UTC)


Horses with anticorpos to WNV were reported by Oswaldo Cruz Institute researchers in Aug., 2011. (talk) 20:09, 9 August 2011 (UTC) William L. Overal, Belém, Brazil

European Maps of WNF can be found here for free[edit] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:54, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

This article definitely needs to be simplified so that most people can understand it.[edit]

I fully agree with the tag "This article may be too technical for most readers to understand". I just got this CNN news alert by e-mail: "The recent West Nile virus outbreak is the largest ever seen in the United States, according to new numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention." The first place I go when I want quick, concise and objective information is Wikipedia. Evidently, most people also do this, because if I recall correctly, when Michael Jackson died, the servers at Wikipedia crashed because so many people went to his article. When I read this West Nile Wiki article, I had to struggle with comprehension of it. Please simplify it, especially in the introductory section. If readers want the technical jargon, that can be placed further down in the article for those are interested. Thanks!!! JGKlein (talk) 17:26, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

New study[edit]

I have once again removed mention of a study placed in the lead cited to a non MEDRS compliant source. MEDRS is clear in that our preferred sources are secondary sources from the medical literature such as review studies published in the peer-reviewed literature or information from high quality medical textbooks. We rely on secondary sources to determine which primary study deserves WP:WEIGHT. We need to weight for this material to be reviewed in the medical literature before including. As an aside, this sort of material almost certainly does not belong in the lead. Yobol (talk) 02:36, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

I added the study as a new section, and referenced PLOS, which is a peer-reviewed journal. I do hope this is WP:MEDRS-compliant. I still think it belongs in the lee, because it make a huge practical difference in how seriously the general public should treat WNV. -Arch dude (talk) 03:04, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
No, unfortunately it is not MEDRS compliant. We use secondary sources for medical information such as review studies. This is a primary study and does not deserve weight here. I will not edit war to remove it, but would encourage you to do so yourself. I have also asked for others from WP:MED to comment as well. Yobol (talk) 03:06, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
I will await additional comment here before removing this material. I am very confused. We have both a primary source (PLOS) and and a secondary source. In this specific case, the article gave information that may lead people to believe that exposure to mosquitos has a much lower risk than is actually true. Therefore, in this one specific case, I feel that a reference to this particular study should be mentioned in this article. The Baylor College of Medicine is not some fly-by-night operation. The study is not one of those (many) that have weak statistical significance. The consequences of a mis-interpretation are severe. I speciofically chose to use the phrase "one study" to alert the intellegent reader to judge the merits personally. -Arch dude (talk) 03:28, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
I can understand your confusion - primary reports are not generally considered to be reliable sources for medical articles on WP. The source you call "secondary" is a news commentary - that's not a secondary source by WP:MEDRS standards (please have a look at that policy again). Of note, that news story contains this paragraph:

Dr. Lyle Petersen, a CDC West Nile specialist, called Murray’s study “intriguing and interesting,” but said more work is needed to confirm the findings. “If true, they are of importance,” he added.

In other words, these findings are NOT important until confirmed. This reflects WP's stance on primary reports in the medical literature. -- Scray (talk) 04:59, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
Colleagues, I think you need to re-read WP:MED, with specific attention to WP:MEDREV. In that section, we have an example of the appropriate use of a primary source, and that example is almost exactly congruent with my edit. The main difference is that the WNV study that I added is a lot more compelling and a lot less contentious than the example autism study. I will not re-instate my edit, but I hope that one of you will. Thanks to you all for your attention to the whole area of medical claims. I realize that there is a lot of craziness in this area and I understand why you are all sensitive to potentially dangerous claims. -Arch dude (talk) 02:17, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
Well said. I've added a somewhat less detailed statement, de-emphasized by avoiding the creation of a new section; I hope you'll agree that it fits where I've placed it. If our readers go to the news source, they'll have a chance to see the cautionary statement from the CDC official that I quoted above. Thanks for your civility. -- Scray (talk) 04:51, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

Biological Warfare[edit]

In May 1994 the CDC admitted to having sent several biological warfare agents to Iraq from 1984 through 1989, including Botulinum toxin, West Nile virus, Yersinia pestis and Dengue fever virus.

CIT= "The eleventh plague: the politics of biological and chemical warfare" (p. 84-86) by Leonard A. Cole (1993)

This information (and citation) is found on the CDC page, but is probably pretty pertinent to those looking for information on it. (talk) 08:35, 20 January 2013 (UTC)


Review in JAMA JFW | T@lk 22:13, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

"Endemic" in first paragraph[edit]

The first paragraph states: "WNV is now considered to be an endemic pathogen in Africa, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Europe and in the United States"

However, the wikipedia article on endemic says "Endemism is the ecological state of a species being unique to a defined geographic location, such as an island, nation, country or other defined zone"

Seems like "endemic" is the wrong word. Quite oxymoronic. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:40, 5 October 2014 (UTC)

Long-term sequelae[edit]

doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(15)00134-6 JFW | T@lk 13:40, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

Unanswered Question[edit]

I was hoping the article would answer one specific question: Does recovery from this illness confer any kind of immunity to the disease? The article should say so. If we don't yet know, the article should say that instead. Either way, the article should address the question. —MiguelMunoz (talk) 23:04, 8 February 2016 (UTC)