Allen Discusses Dangers of West Nile, Zika

October 14, 2016

Dr. Coburn Allen discusses West Nile Virus on KVUE.

Dr. Coburn Allen discusses West Nile Virus on KVUE.

When a teenager in the Austin area died and was found to have the West Nile virus, KVUE-TV asked Dr. Coburn Allen, an ESP pediatric emergency medicine physician and infectious disease specialist at Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin, to explain the dangers.

“The West Nile Virus…almost always causes no, or very little illness,” Allen said. “The thought is about 1 in every 250 or so patients will actually go on to get a severe form of infection. The average person gets nothing. No symptoms at all.”

At the time, the hospital could not say that West Nile was the definitive cause of the child’s death.

“The West Nile Virus almost always causes no, or very little illness,” Allen, said. “In my 20-plus years in pediatric infectious diseases, I’ve never seen a severe case of neuroinvasive disease in a child.”

The next day, the Austin American-Statesman published a Q&A with Allen regarding West Nile and Zika. He noted that summer is the most prevalent time for mosquito-borne illnesses. “We almost see no West Nile virus until sometime around May in America, and then it really tails off and is almost completely gone by November,” Allen said.

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About Emergency Service Partners, L.P.

Founded in 1988, Emergency Service Partners, L.P. is a physician practice management group specializing in hospital emergency departments (EDs). The physician-owned and physician-managed partnership serves more than 35 EDs across Texas. In addition, ESP provides pulmonary, intensive care, sleep medicine, hospitalist, and ob/gyn hospitalist services in Central Texas.