West Nile Virus Testing
(West Nile Virus Test)

Alternate Names

  • WNV

West Nile Virus (WNV) is a flu-like illness caused by a virus (Flavivirus species) carried by crows, jays, and horses, and transported by mosquitoes that infect humans. While most infections resemble simple flu, the illness may progress to encephalitis, meningitis, or paralysis. The body creates antibodies against the virus, which can then be measured to either determine previous exposure or to diagnose current illness. Usually only one test for WNV is done; however, if the infected person is in an area where WNV has not previously been seen and symptoms meet CDC criteria, a follow-up test will be performed. Test results will take up to two weeks to return from the lab.


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