Findings of long-term depression up to 8 years post infection from West Nile virus

J Clin Psychol. 2012 Jul;68(7):801-8. doi: 10.1002/jclp.21871. Epub 2012 May 23.


Objective: To examine the psychological sequelae following West Nile virus (WNV) infection among a large cohort of participants over an 8-year period.

Design: We conducted a longitudinal study to assess mental health outcomes among a cohort of 171 WNV-positive participants in Houston, Texas.

Results: We found 35% of participants met the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale definition for new onset clinical depression. Multivariate analysis found that severe depression was significantly associated with gender and physical disability (Barthel index score <100) at 5 years post-WNV infection.

Conclusions: Practitioners should be aware of depression as a possible outcome in patients who were infected with WNV and include this as a part of their routine assessment.

Keywords: Barthel index; Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CESD) scale; West Nile virus; depression; long-term outcomes; longitudinal study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Risk Factors
  • Texas
  • Time Factors
  • West Nile Fever / complications*
  • West Nile Fever / psychology
  • Young Adult