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The case of Borivoje Dakic (56) from the White Church, who died yesterday of West Nile fever, at the Clinic for Infectious and Tropical Diseases in Belgrade, has unnerved Serbia with a reason – this virus is characterized by symptoms that each of us can easily attribute to cold.

Besides the fact that the most infected with West Nile virus, which get the virus from the mosquitoes which have previously bitten an infected bird, have health problems that none of us attaches great importance, 90 percent of people infected with the virus have no signs of illness.

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However, it is a dangerous disease, and yesterday was the first dead case in Serbia.

The other infected people, get symptoms that resemble the flu: fever suddenly increases, there are headaches and fatigue, and pain in the throat, back, muscles and joints. This disease sometimes causes mild and transient rash and enlargement of lymph nodes and after these problems usually comes healing.

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 However, with some individuals, especially the elder population, West Nile viruscan causeseriousdisease thataffects thebrain tissue.
At the first signs of encephalitis such as fever, muscle weakness and / or confusion, it is necessary to immediately seek medical help. Symptoms of these variants are fever and headache, stiff neck, stupor (dullness), disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions (alternate spasms and relaxation of body muscles, due to which the patient’s body shaking), muscle weakness and paralysis.

Same as in very severe cases, the fever can cause permanent nerve damage and can even be fatal, sometimes after curing the infection leads to memory loss, difficulty in walking, muscle weakness and depression.

For the treatment of West Nile fever there is no specific therapy. In severe cases, a person suspected of being infected with the virus treatment is brought for intensive care, with generous use of infusion fluids and food, regulation of breathing (if necessary, a respirator) and the stabilization function of the cardiovascular system.

In order to prevent complications and secondary infections (pneumonia, urinary tract …) an appropriate symptomatic treatment with antibiotics, cardiotonics, anti-edematous drugs, antiepileptic drugs, and other drugs is applied in the treatment.

There is currently no adequate vaccine to protect humans from West Nile virus.

The mortality rate is higher among the elderly, especially in people over 75 years of age.

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