Summer is peak season for West Nile virus, a mosquito-borne infection that has occurred as an outbreak every summer since 1999, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It typically appears in all 48 contiguous states each year, infecting thousands and killing more than 100 individuals who develop severe complications from the disease.
This most-severe form of the disease — called neuroinvasive West Nile — develops in a small percentage of patients, usually fewer than 1 percent per year. In this stage, the virus has infected the brain (encephalitis) or the tissues surrounding the brain and spinal cord (meningitis). In patients who do recover from neuroinvasive West Nile, some will experience life-long neurological symptoms, according to the CDC.
By the end of the summer, thousands of people will contract West Nile — without knowing — either because they will show no symptoms, or they will not recognize the infection for what it is.
To see if you can spot the symptoms of West Nile, scroll through the hallmark symptoms below. This article is not meant to diagnose any health conditions; if you think you might be at risk, consult a health care professional. ∞∞∞∞∞ www.weather.com ∞∞∞∞∞