The mosquito-borne illness West Nile virus is a serious concern again this summer all across the country. What you may not know is that according to the CDC ( Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) one out of 150 people infected with West Nile Virus will develop a more severe form of the disease. This includes development of West Nile Encephalitis, West Nile Meningitis and West Nile Fever.
West Nile Encephalitis and meningitis are closely related to St. Louis Encephalitis, which is also seen here in the US. West Nile Encephalitis is commonly seen in Western Asia, throughout the Middle East and in Africa. It can infect mosquitoes, humans, horses, birds and other mammals. Scientists believe West Nile Virus which can lead to West Nile Encephalitis has been in the US since approximately 1999.
West Nile Fever is an asymptomatic outcome to contracting West Nile Virus and can have symptoms that range from fever, chills, and sweats to a stiff neck, swollen lymph nodes and a rash. West Nile fever portrays symptoms that closely mimic those of the annual flu here within the US. For that very reason, many cases go unreported and misdiagnosed. Symptoms of West Nile fever usually resolve within 7-10 days ( much like the flu) but the fatigue and swollen lymph nodes can persist for up to two months.
The more serious neuroinvasive diseases , like West Nile Encephalitis and Meningitis, can attack the nervous system of those infected. The typical incubation period of West Nile Virus is usually between 2 to 15 days. In cases where West Nile turns into a neuroinvasive disease such as West Nile Encephalitis or West Nile Meningitis symptoms can last for months and leave permanent neurological damage.
Encephalides , such as West Nile Encephalitis cause an inflammation of the brain. Meningitis affects the membrane surrounding the brain as well as the spinal cord by causing both to swell. These two diseases can be life threatening in the elderly and those with compromised systems. Symptoms of West Nile Encephalitis and West Nile Meningitis include a high fever, severe headache, disorientation, tremors, convulsions and even coma. An individual that displays any of these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.
Although there is no vaccine or specific treatment for West Nile Virus, precautions can be taken to minimize your risk of contracting West Nile or one of the neuroinvasive counterparts of the illness. The first and foremost step is protecting yourself from the source of the illness- the mosquito. Complete avoidance of areas where mosquitoes could be present is not realistic, but keeping the area you spend the most time in and around, which is usually your home and yard mosquito-free is within the grasp of reality. Taking control of your own property is by far the best defense against being bitten by a potential disease carrying mosquito. Keeping your property in your control, and not letting mosquitoes get the upper hand is easier than you may think.
The first weapon in taking control of your yard is to eliminate all areas where mosquitoes can breed and flourish, this includes any open containers which can harbor moisture, cleaning up debris piles, keeping your gutters clean and free of debris and keeping your lawn cut and trimmed. If your home contains screened areas, whether it is a porch or windows, regular inspections to make sure there are no rips, tears or separated screens is vital to ensure mosquitoes do not enter your living areas. Having your property treated by a licensed professional is also an important step to maintain a mosquito free residence and property.
Mosquito Squad can also help you take control of your property by the convenience of their season-long mosquito control. We can apply our safe and effective barrier sprays to kill and prevent mosquitoes from entering the treated premises at regular scheduled intervals throughout the mosquito season. These scheduled sprayings ensure you are receiving the utmost mosquito control available. Mosquito Squad also offers an automatic mosquito misting system that is installed on your property and emits timed sprayings throughout the day. You can contact Mosquito Squad to learn more about their worry free and convenient mosquito preventives and deterrents which ensure your safety and give you peace of mind.