Last update: Oct. 20, 2016

West Nile Fever (WNF)

Low Risk for breastfeeding

Moderately safe. Probably compatible.
Mild risk possible. Follow up recommended.
Read the Comment.

Infection caused by the Western Nile virus, which is an arbovirus-flavivirus transmitted by mosquito bite.
Reservoir: birds. Vector: mosquitoes. Host: horses and humans.
The disease usually appears asymptomatic (80% of cases) or with mild flu symptoms. Less than 1% of affected patients develop meningoencephalitis and other serious features. It has an incubation period from 5 to 15 days.

Although there has been a documented case of transmission through breastfeeding (positive RNA and specific IgM antibodies in the milk with positive plasma IgM antibody in the infant), the child remained asymptomatic (CDC 2002).

Among six breastfed infants whose mothers were diagnosed as positively infected, who subsequently had serologic tests for West Nile virus that were negative, only one of them exhibited a slight skin rash (Hinckley 2007).

Under current information, the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh the risk of disease in infants, in such a way that mothers, even from endemic areas, should be encouraged to breastfeed their infants (Hayes 2005).

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM´s pediatricians and pharmacists, and are based on updated scientific publications.
It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

West Nile Fever (WNF) is also known as


West Nile Fever (WNF) belongs to this group or family:


Main tradenames from several countries containing West Nile Fever (WNF) in its composition:


  1. Garcia-Loygorri MC, De Luis D, Torreblanca B, March GA, Bachiller MR, Eiros JM. La leche materna como vehículo de transmisión de virus. [Beast Milk as vehicle of transmission of virus]. Nutr Hosp. 2015 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  2. Lawrence RM. Circumstances when breastfeeding is contraindicated. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2013 Feb;60(1):295-318. Abstract
  3. Hinckley AF, O'Leary DR, Hayes EB. Transmission of West Nile virus through human breast milk seems to be rare. Pediatrics. 2007 Abstract
  4. Hayes EB, Komar N, Nasci RS, Montgomery SP, O'Leary DR, Campbell GL. Epidemiology and transmission dynamics of West Nile virus disease. Emerg Infect Dis. 2005 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  5. Hayes EB, O'Leary DR. West Nile virus infection: a pediatric perspective. Pediatrics. 2004 Abstract
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Possible West Nile virus transmission to an infant through breast-feeding--Michigan, 2002. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2002 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)

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