We describe herein that a pyrazine derivative, T-705 (6-fluoro-3-hydroxy-2-pyrazinecarboxamide), is protective for a lethal West Nile virus infection in rodents. Oral T-705 at 200 mg/kg administered twice daily beginning 4h after subcutaneous (s.c.) viral challenge protected mice and hamsters against WNV-induced mortality, and reduced viral protein expression and viral RNA in brains. The minimal effective oral dose was between 20 and 65 mg/kg when administered twice a day beginning 1 day after viral s.c. challenge of mice. Treatment could be delayed out to 2 days after viral challenge to still achieve efficacy in mice. Further development of this compound should be considered for treatment of WNV.