West Nile Virus What Precautions Should Be Taken
Some people may think that the West Nile Virus is only an issue in some far off countries like Africa. True other countries have been dealing with the virus a lot longer than the United States. However it’s been an issue in the U.S. since it was first detected in the New York in 1999.
There have been close to 100 deaths from West Nile Virus in the United States, and 1500 cases of the virus detected in people. Horses, birds, and humans can all contract the virus through infected mosquitoes that deliver a bite.
It’s important to note that not all mosquitoes carry the virus, the ones that carry it are in abundance in the summer and fall. The present time is the time when the virus is most likely to be spread to humans. People that work outdoors like farmers are most at risk for getting it.
Leading Experts On West Nile Virus Say ‘It’s Our Feathered Friends’ That Are Most Responsible For Virus
Entomologist Jody Green, of the University of Nebraska feels that ‘our feathered friends’ are to blame for spreading the virus. The West Nile Virus incubates in infected mosquitoes that acquired the virus by feeding on an infected bird.
The virus and the way it’s transmitted is a vicious cycle that can have deadly consequences. A few things to keep in mind for farmers and those that work outdoors, birds can transmit the virus from bird to bird. When a human gets the virus through a mosquito bite, it can not be spread to another person.
The virus can not be contracted by a human from a bird, only from an infected mosquito. We know that after flooding it can bring about many mosquitoes, but Green warns it’s a drought that is more troublesome. Birds and mosquitoes tend to congregate over water in higher numbers during a drought.
Jody Green Contracted The Deadly Virus & Only Found Out She Had It When Donating Blood
Many people that have the virus won’t know for a while, the symptoms are slow to appear. Eighty percent of people that have it, have no symptoms. Another 20% have mild to severe symptoms, Green was in that twenty percentile.
Green went to donate blood, and ten days later received a letter from the blood bank. She was told to go get tested for the West Nile Virus. The only symptom Green had was a rash and a severe headache when she went to her doctor.
Green was among the lucky ones, she was able to successfully recover from the virus. Experts advise property owners to check for standing water, and get rid of it.
During the periods of higher infection, late summer to fall, use insect repellent on exposed skin. Wear long sleeves and loose fitting clothing, and try to avoid working outdoors at night. Constantly controlling mosquitoes is essential in lessening the chances of contracting the virus.