As if we didn’t have enough viruses to worry about, already! But then again, we cannot really have full control over these viruses and illnesses that seem to be cropping up all over the place these days. At least we get warnings from those who are supposed to know best and hopefully, these warnings will help us arm ourselves and our families against these viruses.
Last week, officials in Benton County in East Washington announced that the first bird of the season tested positive for the West Nile virus. Susan Shelton, an environmental health specialist for the county, stated that “we consider this another important warning sign that the virus is active in our area. We are increasing our efforts to remind residents to take steps to avoid mosquito bites and to help control mosquito populations in our community. Preventing West Nile virus is a community effort.”
In most cases, the people who get affected by the West Nile virus do not get seriously ill. In fact, most people who get the virus only experience mild symptoms. These include fever, headaches, body aches, rashes, and swollen lymph nodes. Indeed, unless a person tests positive for the virus, he may not even know that he had contracted it.
However, at the other end of the spectrum, serious cases have been reported. This virus can cause inflammation of the brain or encephalitis. As such, severe headaches should be reported to the doctor immediately.
Some tips to guard against the West Nile virus:
-Do not keep standing water around your home.
-Avoid staying outside at times when mosquitoes abound.
-Use insect repellant.
-Install or repair screens in your home.