West Nile virus (WNV) has recently emerged as a significant and increasingly frequent etiology of encephalitis in this country. Even though WNV has been in the limelight of the national news media and in the public arena, recognition of WNV encephalitis is frequently not overtly apparent. The reason for this is that WNV infection can present a variety of symptoms along a continuum of severity. Awareness of the symptoms of WNV infection and the measures to prevent disease spread are important factors that will shape future management of the disease, as well as the extent of outbreaks facing the population.
Questions or comments about this article may be directed to Rhonda Morgan, MSN RN CEN CNRN, by phone at 423/224-6249 or by e-mail at email@example.com. She is a clinical nurse specialist in neuro-intensive care at Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center Kingsport, TN.
© 2004 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses