West Nile Virus in the U.S.

copywrite 2011, Written by Will Blesch

Hello readers! I’ve been out and haven’t updated this blog in a few weeks but I’m back with a posting on the West Nile Virus. Although summer is coming to a close and fall is almost upon us…this is still relevant.

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) it appears that the West Nile virus has spread through much of the United States with most cases being reported in Arizona and New York respectively. If you live in either state you should take extra precautions. However, even if you don’t live in either state you should remember that cases of the virus have been reported in virtually all states.

But, how do you know whether mosquitos in your area are carriers? Should you even worry about it?

These blood suckers make war on you…you gotta fight back.

Whether the West Nile Virus is in your area or not, mosquitos are known carriers of various diseases including Eastern Equine Encephalitis, Japanese Encephalitis, La Crosse Encephalitis, St. Louis Encephalitis, the West Nile Virus, Western Equine Encephalitis, Dengue Fever, Malaria, Rift Valley Fever, and Yellow Fever.

Thankfully, most species in the U.S. don’t carry most of these. But the West Nile Virus has become a different story.

The CDC also suggests that you should report dead birds to your local authorities. This is because dead birds might be sign that the West Nile Virus is circulating between birds and mosquitos in your area. Over 130 species of birds are known to be affected by the West Nile Virus.

You should mosquito proof your house. Dump out standing water as it is prime breeding ground for mosquitos. They lay their eggs in standing water.

Carry around a fly-swatter in the house!

Evening and early morning (dusk and dawn) are the times of day that most people are bitten by these tiny vampires. Be sure to use repellant and/or clothing that covers a majority of your body. This will reduce the likelihood of being bitten.

Mosquito repellants should contain DEET, Picaridin, or oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.

Finally, find out what steps your community is taking through Mosquito Control Programs. You can also look up the American Mosquito Control Association online for more advice and references.

 

References:

http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/wnv_factsheet.htm

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