The Delta County Health Department has started the West Nile Virus (WNV) surveillance for the summer of 2013. The department staff traps mosquitoes weekly for laboratory analysis for West Nile Virus.
Traps are located around the City of Delta. There have been no positive mosquito samples for West Nile Virus reported yet this year from Delta County. During the summer of 2012 Delta County had the most human cases of West Nile Virus and mosquitoes carrying the disease since its arrival in 2003. This summer could be another active year for the virus in Delta County.
West Nile Virus disease is a harmful illness. The various forms, West Nile Virus fever, meningitis, encephalitis or acute flaccid paralysis all have serious impacts on people. Here's what you can do to protect yourself from West Nile Virus. Since mosquito bites are the primary transmission of infection, do everything you can to avoid mosquito bites. The only way to prevent WNV infections is to control the mosquito population and avoid mosquito bites. People who will get WNV disease may start to have symptoms as early as day 3 or 4 after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Anyone of any age can get WNV disease.
Most people who become ill will have mild symptoms including fever, headache, body aches, and occasionally skin rashes or swollen lymph nodes. Infection is thought to confer fairly long term immunity. However, this virus can cause serious illnesses including encephalitis (swelling of the brain) and or meningitis (swelling of the brain lining). Symptoms may also include high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, muscle weakness, tremors, disorientation, convulsions and coma. Severe infections can result in permanent brain damage or death. People with these symptoms need to seek medical attention immediately.
WNV has been most likely to impact the human population in mid summer, and people need to take precautions to avoid mosquitoes during the warm weather. When people are outdoors, especially during dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are present, they should apply insect repellent to exposed skin. Repellents with DEET are effective and should be applied according to the label recommendations.
Make sure that doors and windows have tight fitting screens.
Drain all standing water on private property no matter how small an amount.
Stock permanent ponds and fountains with fish that eat the mosquito larva.
Change water in bird baths or wading pools, empty flowerpots and saucers of standing water at least once a week.
Remove items that would collect water such as old tires, buckets, empty cans and food and beverage containers.
Eliminate seepage and standing water from cisterns, pools, septic tanks and animal watering tanks.
Do not over water lawns and gardens and irrigation systems in order to prevent standing water. Apply mosquito larvicide to those areas that cannot be drained.
For more information contact the Delta County Health Department information phone 874-2165 or go to www.deltacounty.com.blog comments powered by Disqus