Yes, the West Nile virus (WNV) can occasionally result in a serious neurological disease with symptoms including paralysis. The main way that the virus infects humans is through mosquito bites. While the majority of West Nile virus infections are asymptomatic, about 1 in 5 may experience fever and other symptoms, and less than 1% of infected individuals go on to develop a serious, occasionally deadly neurologic illness.
Among the severe symptoms are:
Bewilderment or disorientation
jerky or trembling muscles
muscular weakness or partial paralysis
Meningitis, which is an infection of the membranes around the brain and spinal cord, or West Nile encephalitis, which is an inflammation of the brain, are frequently the causes of paralysis. Rarely, a disorder called acute flaccid paralysis may develop, which has symptoms akin to polio but causes an abrupt onset of weakness in the arms and/or legs.
Serious illnesses may require weeks or months to recover from, and some effects on the central nervous system may never fully go away. Long-term results for West Nile virus-related neurological disorders might vary, and some people may continue to have problems including paralysis or muscle weakness.
Insect repellent, long sleeves and pants, killing mosquitoes both inside and outside the home, and other preventative measures are crucial in locations where West Nile virus prevalence is known.