West Nile virus causes, symptoms and preventions
|By: Wilson Decosta | Jul 15 2013 | 407 words | 2448 hits|
West Nile virus Encephalitis is a mosquito-borne viral disease, and it can cause an inflammation of the brain and can be a fatal, serious, illness. It is most often spread by the bite of an infected mosquito - mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds - the infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to humans and other animals when they bite.
It is not spread through touching or through casual contact such as kissing or touching a person, but in few cases it has been spread through organ transplants, blood transfusions, breastfeeding and even during pregnancy from mother to baby. It is a potentially serious illness for which there is no human vaccine
• body aches
• skin rash on the chest, stomach and back,
• vomiting, neck stiffness
• muscle weakness
• rarely death
The neurological effects may be permanent and these symptoms may last several weeks.
Those who are over 50 years of age have a higher risk of developing a more severe infection, as do people with weaker or compromised immune systems and people with chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, alcoholism, or heart disease - they are at greater risk of developing symptoms and health effects that are more serious, including meningitis, encephalitis and acute flaccid paralysis.
Treating West Nile Virus There is no specific treatment for this infection and in most people with milder symptoms such as fever and aches; these will pass on their own without medical attention. In severe cases, people are often hospitalized where they can receive help with breathing and nursing care, supportive treatment including intravenous fluids.
The effective and most simplest way of preventing the infection is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes - this is done by using an insect repellent containing an EPA-registered active ingredient when outdoors, especially at dusk and dawn when many mosquitoes are most active - wearing long sleeves and pants at these times or staying indoors during these hours - and ensuring there are good screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
It is also important to rid garden areas and yards of potential mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets and barrels, regularly changing the water in pet dishes and bird baths, emptying out any containers which might inadvertently store water such as tyres, toys and garden equipment, blocked gutters, poorly maintained pools, and any type of receptacle with decaying organic matter.
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