West Nile Q for medical Dopers (mild TMI)

I think I had West Nile fever earlier this week. Not meningitis or encephalitis or anything like that, but the mild form.

I live in a county in the Bay Area where West Nile has been found in birds. A couple of weeks ago, I got an itchy bug bite that might well have been a mosquito bite.

Earlier this week, I had flu-like symptoms- low-grade fever, chills, muscle aches, loss of appetite, and mild diarrhea. It was different from any flu I can ever remember getting, though, because I didn’t have any of the cold-like respiratory symptoms I almost always get with the flu. It’s not flu season, and I haven’t been in contact with anyone who’s been in the Southern Hemisphere recently, AFAIK (it is flu season there now, right?). I was feeling pretty bad for about 3 days, and am now gradually getting better.

My questions:

Is this likely to have been West Nile fever?

If it was West Nile fever, does this mean I’m immune to West Nile now, including the really nasty form of it that causes meningitis or encephalitis?

I’m not a doctor, but i’m the kid of two doctors with far far too much graphic medical discussion common at the dinner table. Sounds to me like you had a stomach virus. You usually get a headache with West Nile, even the mild form.

I think I had West Nile Virus nearly two years ago or so. I had all the symptons on the CDC website about it. Luckily, I am healthy, don’t have an autoimmune disorder, not elderly nor a child. Thus, I survived it pretty well.

My symptoms were: super flu like symtoms including fever, night sweats, horrific chills during night, shaking with the chills, swollen glands everywhere, aching body and loss of appitite. The worst of it was the head and spine aches. My head hurt constantly and eventually I got stress headaches. My spine didn’t hurt, but rather ached. It sucked like a vacuum for about a week and a half. I got a quick one day remission after a week. Then I was just dandy afterwards. The doctor I went to did some tests but ruled out the easily testable stuff. She didn’t want to test me for everything in the world since I had no insurance and was paying out of pocket. When I asked about West Nile, she shrugged and said, “I think it’s more likely a bizarre strain of mono-nucleosis, but it’s possible.”

I treated it like a flu and got better.

It does sound to me like you had a mild case of food poisoning. I would get something like that every couple of months when I worked in the food industry. Not because I was serving bad food, but rather because food I made to eat for me might sit for seveal hours till I got to it. And I sure wasn’t going to make it over again.

Forgive this hijack, please:

I wonder if I had West Nile; about four years ago, I had a fever for 12 days. It would go down with Advil but shot right back up as soon as the meds wore off. I had a severe, excruciating headache with photosensitivity so bad I couldn’t read, watch TV, or turn on the computer. Also, couldn’t hold down anything but yellow Gatorade, and had diarrhea.

I went to the ER twice. First they gave me intravenous zithromax (sp?) which served only to hurt me. When I went back, they gave me tamivir and it broke the next day, but I felt weak for several days.

It was the worst illness I’ve ever had and have never gotten a satisfactory explanation for it. Could that have been West Nile?