Emerging Infectious Diseases are diseases that are new, re-emerging, or drug-resistant and the incidence in humans has increased within the past two decades or whose incidence threatens to increase in the near future. Factors that contribute to the emergence of new infectious diseases are microbial adaptation and change, widespread usage of antibiotics, economic development and land use, international travel and commerce, human demographics and behavior, and technology and industry. One emerging infectious disease that has been re-emerging is the West Nile Virus.
Disease and Pathology West Nile virus is an emerging infectious disease because it keeps re-emerging; showing an increase in incidence and it has spread to different
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The symptoms of severe disease (encephalitis or meningitis) may last several weeks, although neurological effects may be permanent. Complications from mild West Nile virus infection are very rare, but complications from severe West Nile virus infection include brain damage, permanent muscle weakness, and death. West Nile Virus has more severe long-term sequelae in older people than in younger people. These sequelae may be attributed to the severity of the patients' West Nile Virus infection, general effects of hospitalization, or the aging process itself.
Once a patient is infected, the virus multiplies in the tissues and lymph nodes near the site of entry, moves to the blood via lymphatics, infects the central nervous system, and becomes localized in the CNS. The most severe type of disease due to a person being infected with West Nile virus is sometimes called neuroinvasive disease, because it affects a person's nervous system. Specific types of neuroinvasive disease include: West Nile encephalitis, West Nile meningitis, and West Nile poliomyelitis. Encephalitis refers to an inflammation of the brain, meningitis is an inflammation of the membrane around the brain and the spinal cord, and poliomyelitis refers to an inflammation of the spinal cord. West Nile virus is acute and in 2010, 981 cases were reported and 45 deaths in the United States.
West Nile virus is caused by a flavivirus that is in the