Tuesday, 8 December 2009

West Nile Virus Infection Creates Kidney Problems

Research to be published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases in January 2010 shows that patients who have had the West Nile virus may find it lingering in their kidneys several years after their initial infection. This has the potential to cause kidney problems at a later date.

The researchers from the University of Texas found that 20% of patients they examined tested positive several years after being infected. Previously it was thought that individuals only remained infected for the first few days of their illness. They feel that the health impact of this result could be considerable, and are currently investigating what long term problems are caused by this. Five participants in the study died due to kidney failure, during the seven years over which the project was carried out.

The virus is not, as the name might suggest, an infection that you will only get in Africa or Egypt, it was detected in the United States as far back as 1999. So if you have had this disease, a visit to your doctor for a kidney check-up might be a good idea.