Earlier this month, Rhode Island had their first report of West Nile virus, but not a human case. A sampling of 70 mosquitoes was taken on July 29 in Cranston, and one of those mosquitoes was found to have West Nile.
A little more than two decades since West Nile arrived here in the United States, we have begun to seen human cases wane. In 2019, we had 607 confirmed cases of the potentially deadly virus. 2020 brought an increase – 664 total cases, according to the CDC. As of August 10 of this year, the United States has only had 21 confirmed human cases of West Nile virus.
Will Portsmouth mosquito control help protect against West Nile?
There is no way to eliminate the threat of West Nile virus 100%. The fact that West Nile cases have so drastically declined is evidence to us that mosquito control is helping combat the spread of the disease. Climate change and the change of feeding habits of the Culex mosquito are two other factors believed to have contributed to this decrease. No matter the reason, we can be assured that fewer cases of West Nile are a welcome scenario. Because the disease is known to spread from springtime through fall in the United States, it is essential that effective mosquito control and personal protection be employed during this time. It is also necessary that personal mosquito protection be used when you are away from home – on vacation, during hiking and camping trips, etc.
Are there preventative treatments for West Nile virus?
Unfortunately, there are no available vaccines for West Nile. What’s worse, is that there are no treatments to cure the disease. Palliative treatment is all that is available for those afflicted with the disease. Most people, who become infected will have no symptoms at all. Those, who do present with symptoms, might have a fever, joint pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. This is called febrile infection, and most patients with this level of illness recover within a few weeks. Sometimes, these patients report lingering fatigue for up to a few months, however. More serious infection of West Nile happens in about 1 of every 150 cases. Of those serious cases, about 10% will result in death. Those, who are at the highest risk for serious infection and death, are patients over the age of 60. Pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes, cancer, and high blood pressure, also make sufferers of West Nile more prone to serious infection.
Continue your Portsmouth mosquito control and protection.
It is not a foregone conclusion that Rhode Island will have confirmed human cases of West Nile virus this year, but it is advisable to continue protecting yourself from mosquito bites through autumn. Wearing long sleeves, repellent-treated clothing, and using repellent spray are all ways to remain protected outdoors. And for ultimate protection, continue your at-home Portsmouth mosquito control with Mosquito Squad of Rhode Island.