West Nile Virus
©2012 Business Health Services.
As of September 4, 2012, 48 states have reported West Nile Virus infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A total of 1,993 cases of West Nile Virus disease in people, including 87 deaths, have been reported to the CDC. This is the highest number of cases reported during the first week in
September since West Nile Virus was first detected in the United States in 1999. This tip sheet contains important information to help you recognize and prevent West Nile Virus. What is West Nile Virus? West Nile Virus (WNV) is a potentially serious disease. Researchers believe WNV is a seasonal epidemic in North America. Most cases are reported during late summer and into the fall.
How Does WNV Spread?
Infected Mosquitoes. Most often, WNV is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected after feeding on infected birds. Infected mosquitoes then spread the disease to humans and animals when they bite.
Transfusions, Transplants & Mother-to-Child. In a very small number of cases, WNV has been spread through blood transfusions, organ transplants, breastfeeding and during pregnancy from mother to baby.It is NOT Spread through Touching. WNV is not spread through contact such as touching or kissing a person with the virus.
What Are the Symptoms?
People usually develop symptoms within 3 to 14 days after they are bitten by the infected mosquito.Serious Symptoms Are Rare. Less than 1 percentof people infected with WNV will develop severe illness. Severe symptoms can include:
• High fever
• Headache and neck stiffness
• Tremors or convulsions
• Muscle weakness
• Loss of vision
• Numbness and paralysis
Mild Symptoms in Some People. About 20 percent of people infected with WNV will have milder, flu-like symptoms, including:
• Headache and body ache
• Nausea and vomiting
• Swollen lymph glands
• Skin rash
No Symptoms in Most People.
About 80 percent of people infected with WNV will show no symptoms at all, according to CDC.
What Can I Do to Prevent WNV?
The best way to prevent WNV infection is to prevent mosquito bites. The following measures are recommended by the CDC:
• Use insect repellant containing an EPA- registered active ingredient, such as DEET.
• Eliminate mosquito breeding sites. Drain standing water from trash bins, flower pots,
plant saucers, buckets and barrels.
• Wear long sleeves and pants outdoors.
• Consider staying indoors during dusk, dawn and early evening, which are peak mosquito
• Use screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
• Place mosquito netting over infant carriers when you are outdoors with infants.
• Check for clogged rain gutters and clean them out.
When to Seek Medical Attention
Contact your health care provider if you develop symptoms of WNV infection,
especially if you may have had contact with mosquitoes. If you experience symptoms of serious WNV infection, such as confusion or unusually severe headaches, seek medical attention immediately at the closest emergency room or hospital. Women who are pregnant or nursing are strongly encouraged to talk to their physician if they have symptoms that could be WNV. Masters Level Clinicians are available 24 hour a day, 7 days a week, to speak with you about any issues you may be experiencing. Call us today!
The information provided in this document is intended for educational purposes only. Readers with further questions or a need for assistance are strongly encouraged to contact Business Health Services at the phone number and website below. 1-800-327-2251 www.bhsonline.com
Learn more about West Nile Virus and how to prevent the spread of disease:
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
1-800-CDC-INFO | TTY 1-888-232-6348
Published: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 - New Castle, DE