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 mosquitoes 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

— most of which 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 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.
  • 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 mosquitoes that carry the virus 
  • human behavior