Experts encourage screening West Nile patients for kidney disease
Researchers are advising doctors to screen former West Nile patients for evidence of kidney disease.
A study of 139 infected patients from three Texas medical institutions found 40 instances of kidney disease in various stages. The researchers from Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Hospital and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston say this indicates a link.
"We are in the process of researching the relationship between West Nile virus infection and kidney disease," Dr. Kristy Murray, a tropical medicine specialist and primary author of the study, said in a press release. "This study now allows us to understand the prevalence and progression of kidney disease in those previously infected with West Nile virus."
Murray said an estimated 2 million Americans have been infected with West Nile virus, a condition resulting from the bite of an infected mosquito. Links have been made between West Nile and long-term brain and nerve problems, but Murray said this is the first connection made with kidney disease, according to the press release.
The study's authors say physicians should monitor West Nile patients for beginning indications of kidney disease and note there are no symptoms of the disease until its later stages.
A full report can be found in the journal PLoS One, available at plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0040374.
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