Health

What is West Nile virus? 3 things to know about the mosquito-spread ailment

What is West Nile virus? 3 things to know about the mosquito-spread ailment

West Nile is a virus that’s typically spread by infected mosquitoes. Though side effects of the virus can be severe, most people who are infected experience little to no symptoms and fully recover.

Here are three things to know about the West Nile virus, which was first reported in the U.S. in 1999.

How does it spread?

Mosquitoes are largely to blame for spreading West Nile virus.

It all starts when “mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds. Infected mosquitoes then spread West Nile virus to people and other animals by biting them,” according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).