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Family physicians are on the frontline for recognizing, treating and reporting West Nile virus.  Information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides the overview you need for your practice, team and patients. 

West Nile virus (WNV) has been detected in many regions of California.  The State Department of Public Health and other agencies work together to regularly monitor cases of WNV, in humans and animals, and report data weekly.

As a family physician, you should:

>> Be aware if WNV is active in their area 

>>  Look for symptoms of WNV

>>  Test for WNV because testing:

-- differentiates WNV from other conditions (enterovirus, other arboviral diseases) and thus may prompt a change in treatment regime 

-- results offer anticipatory guidance--both WNV neuroinvasive disease and WN fever patients can have lingering symptoms and knowing the underlying etiology is helpful for the patient and family members 

-- helps mosquito control and public health agencies institute proper control measures to reduce the risk of further cases in the event of a positive result

Contact your local public health department for details on sample submission and testing.

Extra Resources:

WNV: Keep it on Your Radar (up to date clinical and epidemiologic presentation on WNV

Flyer for Physicians on West Nile Virus 

West Nile Virus Disease During Pregnancy

West Nile Virus Information and Guidance for Physicians