West Nile Virus

A veterinary students guide to...

 

A Flavivirus

 

West Nile Virus (WNV) is an enveloped, spherical virus with a single stranded RNA genome. The virus is named after the West Nile region of Uganda where the virus was first identified in 1937. WNV, like other flaviviruses, is transmitted by the bite from an infected arthropod between vertebrate hosts. The virus can cause symptoms ranging from mild flu-like signs to severe swelling of the brain and spinal cord in infected hosts.

 

WNV Fast facts

Family

Flaviviridae

Genus

Flavivirus

Species

West Nile Virus

Origin

First identified 1937

Uganda, Africa


Clinical Signs (horses)

Changes in behaviour

or mentation

Muscle fasciculations Weakness

Ataxia

Recumbency


Transmission

via mosquito vectors from the Culex family

Reservoir Hosts

Birds

Major Incidental Hosts

Humans and horses

Other species affected (rare)

Cats

Dogs

Bats

Chipmunks

Skunks

Squirrels

Rabbits

 

Website Created by: Claire Beneke, Shannon Gruen, Melissa Kozakewich, Hilary Scholten, Megan Wilson

Contact: clm374@mail.usask.ca