West Nile Virus Safety

Even though we are close to the end of summer, it does not mean we are completely safe from the West Nile Virus.  West Nile Virus most commonly occurs in warmer climates (i.e. Texas) where the mosquitoes are more active.  In 2018, there are 8 human cases of West Nile Virus reported in Dallas County.  The main source of West Nile Virus transmission is through infected mosquito bites.  Casual contact with an infected person will not lead to infection such as coughing, sneezing, and/or touching.  Signs and symptoms may include fever, headache, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue and skin rash.  They typically do not appear until 2 to 14 days after the mosquito bites.  However, some individuals may not display any symptoms at all.  You can help prevent the spread of the virus by removing any standing water, changing pet bowls regularly, applying mosquito repellent when you’re outside, and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants.  Currently, there are no specific vaccine and treatments available for this disease.  However, over-the-counter medications may be use to relieve some of the symptoms such as fever and body aches.  For few individuals, hospitalization may be require for supportive care.  If you developed serious symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, paralysis, seek medical care immediately.  Please refer to the resources below for any additional questions.

Resources:

https://www.cdc.gov/westnile/index.html

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/west-nile-virus/symptoms-causes/syc-20350320

https://www.dallascounty.org/department/hhs/WestNileWatch.html

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