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West Nile Virus Blood Test

Sample Report
Specimen Type: Blood


West Nile Virus Blood Test

The West Nile Virus test is used to aid in the diagnosis of West Nile Virus by looking for antibodies which the body develops in response to infection.  This test looks for both IgM and IgG antibodies and provides separate results for both.  IgM antibodies are typically present after a recent infection while the presence of IgG antibodies can indicate a current or past infection.  West Nile is a virus which is primarily transmitted by mosquitoes, especially during warm seasons when mosquitoes are more active.  Transmission through organ transplants and blood transfusions is possible but rare.  While mild infections with West Nile are more common, the likelihood of developing a severe or fatal infection is increased for those with weakened immune systems and people over the age of 50. 

While some people with West Nile may show symptoms, many infections are asymptomatic.  When symptoms do appear they typically begin 3-14 days after infection.  The most common symptoms are fever, chills, headache, fatigue, stiff neck, back ache and a skin rash.  Rarer, more severe infections may cause symptoms such as high fever, disorientation, weakness is the arms and legs, convulsions, tremors, partial paralysis and coma.  People experiencing symptoms of a severe infection should seek immediate medical assistance.

This test is usually ordered when someone is experiencing symptoms of a current infection, especially if they have been in an area where West Nile is prevalent.

Turnaround for West Nile Virus test is typically 2-3 business days.

Note: Result turn around times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. Our reference lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.

Incubation Period:

IgM antibodies are typically detectable 2 weeks after exposure and will fall below detectable levels after several months.

IgG antibodies are typically detectable 3-4 weeks after exposure and persist after a person has recovered.



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Offer expires December 14, 2016.


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