Protect yourself from West Nile Virus

Dead birds, plenty of mosquitoes indicate West Nile virus will stick around awhile

The state's first human cases of West Nile Virus this year have been confirmed in lower MI.

"The Ministry of Health emphasizes that all these cases, detected and registered in Romania, are sporadic cases and don't pose the risk of a large epidemic", reads the Ministry's press release.

Mosquitoes with West Nile virus were confirmed Wednesday, Aug. 30 in a surveillance trap set Monday, Aug. 21 by the Central Massachusetts Mosquito Control Project in the northern part of Leominster.

West Nile virus is spread through bites of the infected mosquitoes. "The more time someone is outdoors, the more time the person is at risk of being bitten by an infected mosquito; that is why we encourage everyone to take all precautions against mosquito bites".

In more serious cases, West Nile results in neurological disease and death.

".the majority of people, 80 percent, infected with West Nile Virus don't get sick".

The more serious form of the illness invades the nervous system and can lead to paralysis and death. "It is very important that people take precautions to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites", advises Dr. Vaishampayan.

Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR 3535 according to label instructions. About one in five people infected becomes ill within two to 14 days with symptoms including fever, headache, joint pain, muscle pain, and occasionally nausea and vomiting.

The cover part: wear long sleeves and trousers when going out at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes feed. "The mosquito species that was found is not a biting mosquito, but there are still people out there who could be hurt by West Nile".

DOORS - Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or getting rid of items that hold water. "Wear bug repellant, drain bird baths, remove any standing water around the house, empty pet water bowls and rain gutters", said Boudreaux.

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