Everything You Need to Know About the West Nile Virus

The West Nile Virus has been making big news across the country. With a summer worse than normal, it’s only natural for people to become concerned about the virus. However, you don’t have to panic. There are a number of things you can do to protect yourself. In this article, you’ll learn what you need to know about the virus, how many people have been recently affected, and what to watch out for. Here’s everything you need to know about the West Nile Virus.

What to Know About the West Nile Virus

Recent Outbreaks and Concerns

West Nile Virus was first detected in the United States in 1999. The problem this year is that the cases have reached an all-time high in America. Tuesday, it was reported that there were a total of 1,993 cases of West Nile Virus this year. Unfortunately, there have also be 87 deaths. Some states, including Texas, has been hit so hard that they have sprayed pesticides through the use of airplanes. In just the past week, the number of reported cases grew 25%, while the number of deaths rose by 32-percent.

What You Need to Know About the West Nile Virus

The West Nile Virus, for the most part, is a seasonal epidemic that occurs in the summer and fall months. However, with the increase in temperatures, the virus may be contracted earlier or later in the year. You can help prevent coming in contact with the virus by limiting your time outdoors. It is also important to use spray to prevent mosquito bites when you’re outside. You should also take the time to take care of any mosquito breeding grounds around your home and repair any damaged screens in your home. However, the virus may also spread through blood transfusions, breastfeeding, and organ transplants.

How Many People Are Affected

As mentioned above, almost 2,000 people have contracted the West Nile Virus in 2012 and almost 100 people have died. That means that the virus has claimed 5% of those affected.

What to Watch For

In 80% of the cases, there are no symptoms of West Nile Virus at all. Up to 20% of people, however, can experience some symptoms for a few days or up to several weeks. These symptoms include headaches, fever, body aches, vomiting, nausea, rash, and sometimes swollen lymph nodes. Very rarely, the symptoms can be extreme and, in addition to the symptoms listed above, may cause neurological problems that could be permanent.

What to Know About the West Nile Virus

The West Nile Virus is certainly on the rise, but there are things you can do to limit your exposure. More importantly, even if you do contract the virus, there’s a good chance that you won’t even experience symptoms. However, that doesn’t mean you should overlook taking precautions to protect yourself.

About the Author: Ela Casamento is a health and wellness counselor. She works in a public health clinic and regularly talks to her clients about the swine flu, West Nile virus, women’s health, how to heal candida, and mental health.

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