I have been reading recent reports of West Nile Virus in various states and deaths caused from it recently. You can see the dark green highlights in this map from the CDC.
Health departments around the country are urging residents to take precautions such as removing sources of standing water, avoiding mosquito-prone areas and applying a mosquito repellent. The CDC recommends fixing or installing new window and door screens. They also recommend if you find a dead bird – don’t handle the body with your bare hands. Contact your local health department for instructions on reporting and disposing of the body. They may tell you to dispose of the bird after they log your report.
West Nile virus (WNV) is a potentially serious illness. Experts believe West Nile Virus is established as a seasonal epidemic in North America that flares up in the summer and continues into the fall.
According to the CDC here are the symptoms:
What Are the Symptoms of WNV?
- Serious Symptoms in a Few People. About one in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness. The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.
- Milder Symptoms in Some People. Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected have symptoms such as fever, headache, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms can last for as short as a few days, though even healthy people have become sick for several weeks.
- No Symptoms in Most People. Approximately 80 percent of people (about 4 out of 5) who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all.