What Is West Nile Virus?
"Encephalitis" is an inflammation of the brain caused by viruses and bacteria, including viruses transmitted by mosquitoes. West Nile encephalitis is an infection of the brain caused by West Nile virus, 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. It has recently moved into Illinois.

Humans get the West Nile Virus largely from the bite of mosquitoes. Although some 150 species of mosquitoes are found in the United States, the primary transmitter of West Nile is Culex Pipiens. The female mosquito catches the virus when it bites an infected bird, and can then pass it along if it later bites a human. Humans do not get it from other humans or animals.

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1. What Is West Nile Virus?
2. What can be done to prevent the spread of the West Nile Virus?