West Nile Virus Outbreak
Current West Nile Virus Outbreak
It's mosquito season and once again West Nile Virus outbreaks are now being reported in many states around the country. The most recent virus outbreak in the state of Arizona was reported on June 21, 2007, with a man from the west valley area of metropolitan Phoenix. Today, October 8, 2007, the first death was reported along with 55 West Nile Virus cases year to date in Maricopa County alone. This is a 25% increase from the 44 cases that were reported at this same time last year. Officials are expecting and seeing more cases this year than last so it's time to be sure you help protect yourself against this deadly disease. Skeet-X Mosquito Patch can help you do that.
The Arizona State Health Department reports the majority of cases are typically reported both in Tucson, located in Pima County, and in Maricopa County. During 2006 in Maricopa county there were 75 cases reported and statewide 6 of those West Nile cases reported resulted in death!
Last year as of October 6th, 2006 there were 69 human cases and by Octber 27th, 2006 55 more human cases have been reported bringing the total to 124 human cases of West Nile Virus in Arizona alone for the year 2006. This now brings the total number of cases being reported state-wide to 371 total virus samples which include animals and trapped mosquitoes. Up to five human deaths in Arizona during 2006 are now being attributed to the West Nile Virus.
What Is The West Nile Virus?
The West Nile Virus is a virus that normally only lives in mosquitoes and birds and can be transmitted to humans in several ways. Humans can sometimes be infected with the virus if they are bitten by a mosquito that is carrying the virus or through a blood transfusion. The West Nile virus poses a significant health threat to humans that should be taken seriously.
West Nile Virus Symptoms
The majority of people, approximately 80%, who become infected with the virus will either have no symptoms at all or endure a very mild illness. The remaining 20% percent will develop flu-like symptoms such as headache, fever, body aches, swollen glands, muscle soreness and muscle weakness. For many patients infected with West Nile Virus these symptoms can persist for many days or weeks. Some people, especially the elderly and young, may experience more severe symptoms, including high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, and encephalitis or inflammation of the brain.
West Nile Virus Treatment
If you are experiencing mild health symptoms like those described above that you think may be from the West Nile Virus, you should get plenty of rest, drink fluids, and avoid drinking alcoholic beverages. If your symptoms persist more than a few days or seem like they are getting more severe, call your doctor immediately. If you have a high fever, stiffness in the neck, disorientation, tremors, muscle weakness or convulsions you should seek immediate medical attention!
West Nile Virus Prevention
There are a number of ways you can help to prevent spread of the West Nile Virus around your home. Because Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water be sure to conduct the following actions around your property today.
Drain Standing Water
- Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by eliminating all forms of standing water which can allow mosquitoes to breed. Check for other conditions outside your home that may provide potential for mosquito breeding, such as poorly maintained swimming pools, cans, bottles, jars, buckets, old rubber tires, drums and other containers that contain water or can catch rain water. Also change the water in items that hold water at least once or twice a week like empty excess water from flower pots, pet food and water dishes, birdbaths, swimming pool covers, buckets, barrels, and cans. Check for clogged rain gutters and clean them out. Remove discarded tires, and other items that could collect water. Be sure to check for containers or trash in places that may be hard to see, such as under bushes or under your home.
- Change the water frequently in flower vases, birdbaths, planters and animal watering pans or at least twice a week.
- Repair all leaky pipes and outside faucets which drip water and move and drain standing water from air conditioner drain hoses.
Clothing Can Help Reduce Mosquito Bites
Wear long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors. Mosquitoes can still bite through thin clothing, so spraying clothes with repellent will give extra protection. Don't apply repellents containing DEET directly to skin. Do not spray repellent containing DEET on the skin under your clothing.
Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours
The hours from dusk to dawn are peak mosquito biting times for many different species of mosquitoes. Take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing during evening and early morning -- or consider avoiding outdoor exposure during these times.
Install or Repair Screens
Use Skeet-X Mosquito Patch When Outdoors
Some mosquitoes like to come indoors. Keep them outside by having well-fitting screens on both windows and doors.
Whenever you go outdoors for an extended period of time, especially in the desert or forest areas, be sure to wear a Skeet-X Mosquito Patch. Mosqito Patch is a safe, easy to use and economical way to help prevent mosquito bites and the West Nile Virus while enjoying most types of outdoor recreation. Be sure to keep a box in your vehicle and with your camping or hiking gear at all times.