West Nile Virus Cases at Eight Year High

It’s summertime! Summer is the perfect time for swimsuits, outdoor grilling, throwing Frisbees, and contracting dangerous untreatable viral infections.

West Nile is a virus that is transmitted by mosquito bites. Four out of five people infected with West Nile Virus have no symptoms and never feel sick. About one in five infected people develop fever, headache, body aches, vomiting, or a rash. Less than one in a hundred will develop serious neurologic complications such as inflammation of the brain or inflammation of the tissues that surround the brain. Some of those people will have permanent neurological deficits, and some will die.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued “>The CDC information page on West Nile Virus has some useful common sense advice about avoiding mosquito bites and eliminating mosquito breeding sites. They suggest the following.

  • Use insect repellents when you go outdoors.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants during dawn and dusk.
  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors. Use air conditioning rather than leave unscreened doors or windows open.
  • Empty standing water from items outside your home such as flowerpots, buckets, and kiddie pools.

So stay away from mosquitoes this summer. Because this advice is about all we can do for West Nile Virus.

Learn more:
“> Severe West Nile Cases Rise (NY Times)
“> West Nile Virus (CDC information page)

Important legal mumbo jumbo:
Anything you read on the web should be used to supplement, not replace, your doctor’s advice.  Anything that I write is no exception.  I’m a doctor, but I’m not your doctor.