West Nile is a virus that is spread by the Culex species of mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected by feeding on infected birds, and then transmit the virus to humans and animals through bites. Once in the bloodstream, the virus multiplies and spreads. If the virus reaches the brain, the result is encephalitis — an inflammation of the brain that can affect the entire nervous system. Although rare, encephalitis is the most serious complication associated with the virus.
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