West Nile Virus is Back
PLEASE TAKE PRECAUTIONS AND AVOID A DEADLY ILLNESS.
IF YOU SUSPECT THE INFECTION, SEE YOUR PHYSICIAN! IF GRAVELY ILL OR UNABLE TO GO TO YOUR PHYSICIAN, CALL 911 FOR PECAN PLANTATION EMS.
Mosquitoes are the agents which spread the viral illness. Once a mosquito picks up the virus from infected birds, they bite humans and therefore, infect the person. (Horses are also infected by mosquitoes and become gravely ill as well.) Persons cannot spread the disease to one another, it is only spread by mosquitoes….or can be spread rarely through unchecked blood transfusions. Symptoms are mild in 80% of those bitten; people may never know they have even had an infection. However, for the remaining 20%, symptoms of viral illness may range from fever, rash, aching joints, flu-like symptoms and fatigue, headache, vomiting and signs of encephalitis with swollen glands and stiff neck. Infection may even progress to death. The very young and elderly whose immune systems are inadequate are those who are most vulnerable to severe outcomes. Sadly, last year, Pecan Plantation was the area reporting a fatal case of West Nile Viral infection. There is no cure for this viral illness and still no vaccine.
How does one protect oneself from this deadly infection? Drain standing water and mosquito colonization. Stay away from areas where low water pools in the environment. Stay indoors early and late. Avoid early morning and late evening outdoor activities when mosquitoes are “out and about”. Wear repellant anytime you are outdoors…there are many to choose from. Wear protective clothing…long sleeves and long pants; cover your neck. If outdoors, put up a “bug light” apart from the area you are sitting in order to attract mosquitoes away from you and over to the light. Stay in screened areas and avoid perfumes that attract mosquitoes.
Remember, please call 911 for any emergency. We are here for YOU!
Sandra Winfield, RN, BS, NRP, LP