West Nile Virus
As of August 14, 2012, there have been approximately 700 cases of West Nile virus infections reported throughout the United States. Due to the recent activity, we wanted to take this opportunity to pass along some preventative measures to help protect you and your families.
The easiest and best way to avoid WNV is to prevent mosquito bites.
- When you are outdoors, use insect repellent containing an EPA-registered active ingredient. Follow the directions on the package.
- Many mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn. Be sure to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants at these times or consider staying indoors during these hours.
- Make sure you have good screens on your windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
- Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets and barrels. Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out. Keep children's wading pools empty and on their sides when they aren't being used.
West Nile virus can be spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds. Infected mosquitoes can then spread WNV to humans and other animals when they bite. In a very small number of cases, WNV also has been spread through blood transfusions, organ transplants, breastfeeding and even during pregnancy from mother to baby. WNV is not spread through casual contact such as touching or kissing a person with the virus.
Most people (approximately 80%) do not show signs/symptoms of infection. 20% of infected people will 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. Infected people who show signs/symptoms of infection typically develop symptoms between 3 and 14 days after they are bitten by the infected mosquito.
Please refer to http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/index.htm for more information.