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Since the outbreak of West Nile valley virus in New York in 1999, more and more cases are being reported. It is becoming very common in the United State as 5% of all screened blood donors are affected. The most common presentation of this virus is fever of unknown origin that may last for a month or so with body aches. However, in about 1% of affected individuals, they will have beside the fever, Gillian Barrie like symptoms and will deteriorate if not appropriately treated. West Nile virus is part of Flavivirus group. It causes meningoencephalitis and affect the anterior horn cells of the spinal cord and may extend into brain stem and cerebral cortex. Autopsy studies from this virus showed increased microglial cells in spinal cord with loss of ganglion in anterior horn cells. Microglial nodules also seen. Muscle biopsy shows evidence of neurogenic atrophy. EMG studies shows usually classic poliomyelitis picture rather than a demyelinating process as usually suspected from the clinical presentation. Due the importance of recognizing such a virus, blood donor screening for West Nile Valley Virus was implemented in the United States in July 2003

In summary West Nile virus is becoming increasingly recognized as a lethal virus if not properly treated. It should be suspected in any patient with �fever with muscle weakness, or symptoms of encephalitis�. The test that is available in our lab is blood serum test for IgM specifically against West Nile Valley virus

 
We, in the First Medical Lab, are dedicated to bring the best of laboratory medicine to clinical practice to Jordan

Dr. Hussam Abu-Farsakh

American Board of Anatomic & Clinical Pathology, and Cytopathology

 

“Circular” is a periodic circular that distributed to clinician informing them about new and important tests available at First Medical Laboratory. All information listed are supported by recent literature