West Nile Virus

Here (and elsewhere, I might add) mosquitoes have become disease carrying little creatures. Namely West Nile Virus, which is a strain of encephalitis; a disease that can be deadly and is carried by some mosquitoes. People over 50, young children, and people with compromised immune systems are at the highest risk of contracting this disease.

If you were bitten by a mosquito carrying West Nile, it can take up to 15 days to experience the symptoms, which include: severe headaches; fever;nausea and vomiting; disorientation; chills; muscle aches, pain, stiffness, or all three. If you have any of these symptoms after a mosquito bite, please seek immediate medical attention. Better safe than sorry.

Take steps to keep from being bitten by mosquitoes. When outside, use insect repellent containing one of these EPA registered active ingredients.  Follow the directions on the packaging. Also stay covered up, I know…it’s HOT!!…but be sure to wear shoes, socks, long pants, and a long-sleeve shirt when outside. Also be sure your window screens fit correctly and are in good shape.

You may have places in your yard or on your house that make the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Empty buckets, cans, and other receptacles to prevent water from collecting. Cover wading pools, but take care to drain water that may collect on pool covers. Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs. When they are not in use, keep pools empty and covered. Change water in bird baths every three or four days. Keep roof gutters clear and draining properly. Report standing water to your local health department.

Most cities, counties, and health concerned entities are taking steps to monitor and prevent West Nile in their areas. Monitor the news for information about current insect conditions and community efforts to control insects. Be aware that increased sightings of dead birds in your area can be a sign that West Nile Virus might be present. (According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you cannot contract West Nile Virus from an intact dead bird.) If you see multiple dead birds in your area, you should immediately contact your local health department. (A comprehensive list of local health departments is available on the CDC’s Web site.)

There have been, I believe 3 reports of West Nile human cases, in Denton County, Texas so far this year.

The City of Denton has entered Level 5 of its Mosquito Plan. To see the news release click here.

Denton County, Texas has a page that lists information about West Nile: facts, who to call, and other valuable information. You can visit the Denton County Health Emergency Alert Response Team (HEART) page on West Nile here.

The CDC has West Nile Virus Fact Sheet. See it here.

3 thoughts on “West Nile Virus

  1. Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and Im impressed! Extremely helpful info specially the last part I care for such information a lot. I was seeking this certain information for a long time. Thank you and best of luck.

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