West Nile Virus - Take It Seriously
Are you thinking life is for the birds? Not necessarily. Not in Wisconsin anyway, where the Department of Health Services has announced that two birds have tested positive for West Nile Virus. People in that area have been warned to careful to protect themselves against mosquito bites. Mosquitoes are a well known means for transmitting the disease to not only birds, but also to humans.
Whether you are in Wisconsin or elsewhere in the country, this is a good time to refresh your memory on the ways to protect yourself from this virus. The Center For Disease Control reports that “If mosquitoes are still flying there is still a danger from West Nile virus. Infected mosquitoes spread West Nile virus that can cause serious, life-altering, and even fatal disease.”
While the chances of humans being infected are low, this is still a disease to be taken seriously. There are not always symptoms to alert people that they have been infected, though some will develop fever, headaches, and rashes. People who are in high risk groups including the elderly and those with immune system disorders should be especially careful.
There are a number of ways to decrease your exposure to mosquitoes and to reduce your risk of being infected with this disease. First, avoid being out at dawn and dusk, when you are most likely to encounter them. In addition, there are many other precautions including:
• Be sure, when you’re outside, to wear shoes, socks, long sleeved shirts, and long pants.
• Use insect repellent on both skin and clothing – they can bite through your clothes!
• Make sure your windows and window screens are in good repair.
• Keep your doors and windows closed.
• Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes, so be sure to eliminate it from your yard
The Mayo Clinic reports that “Some people who become infected with West Nile virus develop a life-threatening illness that includes inflammation of the brain” so don’t take chances; protect yourself and your family.