Mosquitos are the carriers of this disease, and we all know the mosquito population has exploded this summer. It is possible to transmit West Nile virus (WNV) in other ways, such as through blood transfusions, organ transplants, breastfeeding, or even during pregnancy from mother to baby, but the risk for those types of transmissions is small.
No one wants WNV, so the first thing to do is prevent mosquito bites.
Use insect repellent, and reapply it periodically – read the directions on the can.
Look around your property – if there’s any standing water, drain it. Mosquitos love to breed in still waters.
Mosquitos were getting in our house in the evenings. After a couple of hours of investigation, we discovered a gap in a screen where they were getting through. Check every door and window in your home for openings.
There is no vaccine for humans, but research is ongoing.
Most people who are infected with WNV experience no symptoms, but for some, infection can cause fever, headache, nausea, coma, paralysis and other serious problems.
There is no treatment specific to WNV. If you become infected, your symptoms will be treated.
Be aware that mosquitos carry more than WNV. They also carry and transmit dengue, various viral diseases that cause encephalitis, malaria, yellow fever, and Rift Valley fever.
Contact your city or county to find out what they’re doing to reduce the mosquito population. If they’re not doing enough, rally your neighbors to add their voices to yours in asking that action be taken.
Image courtesy of LoloTahiti