Mosquitos are active from Summertime to the first hard frost and with mosquitos comes West Nile. This article will provide you with the information you need to not only protect yourself from west nile, but also to recognize the symptoms.
What is West Nile Virus?
Many people have heard of West Nile Virus or WNV but don’t know what it is. West Nile is a potentially serious virus. It flares up in the Summer and lasts till the Fall. You should take preventative measures when you can, and continue to do so until the first hard frost. Mosquitos are active until the first hard frost, and can continue to spread West Nile.
From the CDC website, here is a list of measures to take to avoid mosquito bites.:
- Use insect replant when outside
- During dusk and dawn wear extra repellant, long sleeves, or stay inside
- Make sure you have your screens repaired
- Make sure you eliminate standing water, this is a breeding ground
Symptoms of West Nile
- Serious symptoms in some people
- There is a 1/150 chance you will develop sever illness. This includes high fever, headaches, stiffness in the neck, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, problems with vision, numbness, and paralysis. These effects could last several weeks and neurological symptoms remaining permanent.
- Milder symptoms for others
- Approximately 20 percent of people will have mild symptoms such as fever, headaches, body aches, nausea, vomiting, an swollen lymph glands (these glands are under your ears behind the jaw). These symptoms vary between 3 days and weeks.
- No symptoms in most
Transfer of West Nile
West Nile is transferred from birds to mosquitoes to whomever the mosquito bites. Due to this if you find a dead bird, do not touch it with your bare hands but instead call your local health offices to dispose of the body.
WNV can also be transferred between people in the case of transfusions, pregnancy, transplants, and even breastfeeding, though this is uncommon.
The incubation period for West Nile is 3-14 days.
Though there is no treatment, the best response is prevention. You must be proactive about protecting yourself. Keep your children protected with insect repellant as well as yourself. Make sure windows are screened in without holes. Try not to spend time outside when mosquitos are active and as mentioned remove all standing water.