West Nile Virus

Description
  • West Nile Virus is an infection that usually transmitted by mosquitoes.
Location
  • West Nile Virus is present in 48 out of the 50 states in the United States, excluding Hawaii and Alaska.
  • Outbreaks occur in the summertime.
     
Cause
  • West Nile Virus is most commonly transmitted to humans by mosquitos and only a very small percentage of transmission comes from blood transfusions, organ transplants, and from mother to newborn baby.
  • Keep in mind these are VERY rare.
  • West Nile Virus is not passed on from person to person or from animal to person through common contact.
     
Symptoms
  • About 70–80% of those infected with West Nile Virus do not experience symptoms.
  • A very small percentage of people can experience fevers, headaches, body aches, vomiting, fatigue and weakness and most of these people make a full recovery.
     
Treatment
  • There are no vaccines or medications for West Nile Virus.
  • Most of those infected with West Nile Virus do not have any symptoms and less than 1% of those that do have develop serious illnesses due to West Nile Virus.
  • If fever occurs, over the counter medications can help reduce symptoms.
  • In very rare and severe cases, patients can be hospitalized.
     
Prevention
  • Wear protective clothing like long sleeves, pants, hats, etc. and use insect repellant especially in the summer months and when around water to prevent mosquito bites.
  • Also be mindful that dusk and dawn are peak mosquito hours.
  • Putting screens on your windows and doors will also help protect against mosquitos as well as emptying large amount of water found in buckets, pet dishes, birdbaths etc.
     
Handling
Animals    
  • Seeing a large amount of dead birds may be a sign of West Nile Virus.
  • Reporting dead birds to health departments in your area can help prevent West Nile Virus.
  • Do not dispose of the dead birds on your own.
  • Contact professionals in order for the birds to properly be handled and tested.
     
Other Facts
  • Many factors can affect the statistics regarding West Nile Virus including:
    • Weather patterns
    • Number of birds
    • Number of mosquitos that carry the virus
    • Human behavior