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West Nile Virus Is A Risk You Can Do Something About With A Few Simple Steps.
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|ADULTS ARE AT HIGHEST RISK
People over age 50 have a higher risk for becoming seriously ill when they get infected with West Nile virus.
People under age 50 can also become sick, but it is less likely.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I GET INFECTED?
Most people who get infected with West Nile virus do not have any symptoms. Some people develop a mild illness called West Nile Fever. This mild illness gets better on its own. No treatment is needed. A small number of people (less than 1 out of 100) who get infected with West Nile virus develop severe disease, called West Nile encephalitis or West Nile meningitis (inflammation of the brain or the area around the brain). This severe disease usually requires hospitalization. In some cases, especially among older persons, it can result in death. Symptoms of severe illness include headache, high fever, stiff neck, mental confusion, muscle weakness, tremors (shaking), convulsions, coma, and paralysis. See your doctor if you develop these symptoms. There is no specific treatment for the West Nile virus infection.
There is no vaccine available for people.
THREE WAYS TO REDUCE YOUR WEST NILE VIRUS RISK
Wearing long sleeve shirts, long pants and socks
sprayed with repellent while outdoors can further
help prevent mosquito bites. Avoid Mosquitoes! Many
mosquitoes bite between dusk and dawn. Limit time
outdoors during these hours, or be especially sure
to use repellents and protective clothing.
Spray insect repellent containing DEET (Look for
N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) on exposed skin when you
go outdoors. Spray clothing with repellents containing
DEET or permethrin. Products with a higher percentage
of DEET (up to 50%) give longer protection. Don't
spray repellent on skin under clothing. Don't use
permethrin on skin.
Repellent Carefully! Repellents containing
DEET are very safe for adults and children when
used according to directions. Don't put repellent
on kid's hands because it may get in their mouth
Keep mosquitoes outside by fixing or installing
window and door screens.
Drain Standing Water: Don't give mosquitoes
a place to breed. A small amount of standing water
can be enough for a mosquito to lay her eggs. Look
around every week for possible mosquito breeding
Empty water from buckets, cans, pool covers,
flower pots and other items. Throw away or cover
up stored tires and other items that aren't being
used. Clean pet water bowls weekly. Check if rain
gutters are clogged. If you store water outside
or have a well, make sure it's covered up. Encourage
your neighbors to do the same.
birds help health departments track West Nile virus.
Check with local or state
health department to find out their policy for reporting