How are West Nile virus (WNV) infection and encephalitis (WNE) prevented?

Updated: Apr 05, 2021
  • Author: David J Cennimo, MD, FAAP, FACP, AAHIVS; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Avoidance of mosquito exposure, particularly around dawn and dusk, may help mitigate the risk of exposure to West Nile virus (WNV). Mosquito repellents, such as DEET, as well as barrier netting, are helpful. Mosquito-control programs are also able to reduce rates of human infection and are typically employed when surveillance identifies increased local risk. A 2005 study found that the odds of infection were 6-fold higher in untreated areas than in areas treated with aerosolized pyrethrin spraying. [31] Routine local control, such as limiting stagnant areas of water collection, may also be beneficial.

No vaccine is currently FDA-approved for WNV, although studies of live attenuated vaccines are ongoing (up to phase II clinical trials), which have shown safety and tolerability, as well as immunogenicity. [32, 33] Currently, no clinical trials for WNV vaccine are in phase III.

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