The West Nile virus continues to be a problem in some states of the United States of America. The cases of human infections reported have increased steeply as compared to last year’s figures. The West Nile season typically runs from June through October mostly in temperate and tropical regions of the world and continues until the first hard freeze of the year.
Usually, people infected with this mosquito-borne disease do not experience any signs or symptoms. However, when infected, they may develop a life-threatening illness like the inflammation of the brain. Some severe signs and symptoms — severe headache, fever, disorientation or sudden weakness call for immediate attention and medical intervention.
The intensity of infection spread varies/fluctuates from year to year. It depends on certain factors like the weather, vectors (organisms that act as host for the virus) – birds and mosquitoes. The season can last up until the first hard freeze of the year.
There are no medications to treat the infection or vaccines to prevent West Nile virus infection. People who are over 50 years of age and others with certain health issues or age related ailments are at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill or dying when they become infected with a virus.
The symptoms of West Nile Virus include fever or flu-like illnesses. The patient may be asymptomatic or show milder symptoms in the beginning. Public health officials mostly focus on preventive spraying in the region to combat the mosquito-borne disease and re-inspect areas for larval mosquito habitats.
Some precautions that can be taken against West Nile Virus
Wearing long sleeves and pants. Avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
Reduce the mosquito population by dumping standing water from containers around the yard.
Avoid outdoor evening activities when mosquitoes are most active
Protect yourself from mosquito bites by using mosquito repellent or other creams.