Galveston County Daily News (Internet / Print) 06/22/06 Weekly Column by Dr. Sally Robinson and Dr. Keith Bly: The severity of West Nile virus depends on who acquires it. A child with a normal immune system may get mild “flu-like” symptoms and not feel incredibly ill, while people over age 50 and those with weakened immune systems due to HIV, cancer or organ transplants may be affected more seriously. There is no specific treatment for West Nile virus, and, as it is a viral infection, antibiotics will not work. Symptoms of West Nile virus include fever, headache, stiff neck and back, muscle aches, fatigue, joint pain, swollen glands and rashes. Though rare, West Nile virus can cause encephalitis, which is an inflammation of the brain that can affect the entire nervous system. Symptoms of West Nile may take five to 15 days to appear. If your child shows symptoms of West Nile virus, visit your pediatrician.