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West Nile Virus

TIRR Memorial Hermann and the Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Network offer comprehensive rehabilitation services to individuals who have been affected by the West Nile Virus (WNV). We offer individualized treatment programs that give patients, their families and caregivers the opportunity to participate in important life roles and enhance their quality of life.

What is West Nile virus, and how is it caused?

WNV is a virus that infects humans (and animals) after being bitten by various types of infected mosquitoes. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid mosquito bites by using insect repellent and wearing protective clothing.

What are the symptoms of West Nile virus?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 80 percent of people who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all. Up to 20 percent will have mild symptoms, including fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash. And about 1 in 150 will develop severe illness, with symptoms that can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.

How is West Nile Virus diagnosed?

Diagnosis is based on a combination of clinical signs and symptoms, utilizing specialized laboratory tests of blood and/or spinal fluid. These tests typically detect antibodies that the immune system makes against the viral infection.

What therapies are available, and what are the benefits?

Through our inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation programs, we help individuals with WNV overcome their challenges, including:

  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty walking
  • Muscle weakness
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Loss of concentration
  • Memory loss
  • Depression
  • Deconditionings
  • Difficulties with activities of daily living
  • Decreased balance and coordination

Patients who suffer from these symptoms can benefit from our highly specialized multidisciplinary team approach to improve their quality of life. We maximize patient outcomes by providing:

  • Specialized medical management, nursing and therapy services in individual, group and community settings
  • Individualized therapeutic exercise and functional activity programs that can help with daily activities, such as walking, self-care, work and leisure, and training to improve overall strength, flexibility and endurance
  • Cognitive retraining in both group and individualized sessions for improved memory and concentration
  • A continuum of care, including inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, a community integration program, a community wellness program, support groups, counseling and education

Meet the Team

Our outpatient rehabilitation program is supported by an interdisciplinary team of clinicians who specialize in treating patients with WNV. A patient’s team may include:

  • Physical therapist
  • Occupational therapist
  • Speech language pathologist
  • Neuropsychologist
  • Clinical social worker
  • Vocational counselor
  • Wheelchair seating and positioning specialist
  • Chaplain

Additional team members of an inpatient stay may include:

  • Affiliated rehabilitation physician
  • Rehabilitation nursing
  • Therapeutic recreation therapist
  • Music therapist
  • Clinical pharmacist
  • Case Manager
  • Nutritionist

Get Started

To get started, use this form to become a patient or contact us by phone 1 (800) 44-REHAB (73422) , (713) 797-5942 or fax 713.797.5988

Become a Patient