Preventing A West Nile Virus Epidemic

April 29, 2013

MosquitoLast year was one of the biggest years of West Nile Virus symptoms ever, and this year is expected to be near as bad. Among mosquitoes, West Nile virus is already an epidemic, so it’s falling to city officials to help control mosquito populations, get the public informed, and make sure the epidemic doesn’t spread to humans.

First, find out what your city is doing. This will let you know where the biggest problem areas are (a specific park? a drainage area? etc.). It will also let you know whether you need to avoid areas that have been recently sprayed with pesticides, which can be especially dangerous for small kids and pets.

Second, take your own precautions. Still water sources are breeding grounds for mosquitoes, and with such a high percentage infected with West Nile Virus already, there’s a good chance any group you see will have at least a few who could be carrying.

Third, know West Nile Virus symptoms:

West Nile Virus symptoms—It starts with a bite.

Most people know when they’ve been bitten by a mosquito because it itches. Few realize they have West Nile virus.

For many, the disease won’t be serious. But a few will die from it, and, as with all diseases, early treatment is best. West nile virus symptoms appear within about 2 weeks of a bite. They can resemble a mild infection: fever, headache, malaise. For those with severe symptoms, confusion is added to the list (it can indicate brain inflammation).

Whenever you receive any kind of insect bite, watch for unusual symptoms and talk to your primary care physician about them.

Are you worried about West Nile Virus?

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