Mosquitoes spread West Nile Virus

19 Jun Mosquitoes spread West Nile Virus

It is time for the West Nile Virus nanobug to start showing up. This nanobug was first detected in the Western Hemisphere in 1999 and has spread rapidly across North America since then. Mosquitoes carry the West Nile Virus to humans from infected birds.   So protecting yourself from mosquito bites if the best way to prevent this infection. Use 35% DEET insect repellant on your body and bring children inside at dawn, dusk and early evening when the mosquitoes have their peak feeding times.

Did you know, that only the females bite humans? They need our protein from our blood to produce eggs. (Males feed on nectar and don’t need blood) A female mosquito can lay more than 1,000 eggs during her 3-4 week lifetime. Mosquitoes need water to lay their eggs – even as little as one drop. They breed in anything from flower pots to discarded car tires or lakes and swamps. This year most of the Midwest has received lots of rain and so standing water is easy for those mosquitoes to find. It is a good idea to assess your property and look for potential sources of standing water in which mosquitoes could breed. Eliminate the standing water.

Fortunately, only 1% of people who get infected with the West Nile nanobug develop serious illness. However, the elderly and the very young and people with weakened immune systems are at greatest risk. The symptoms of infection with the West Nile Virus nanobug are headache and flu-like symptoms. Report these symptoms to your doctor if they persist for more than a 48 hours.

And keep your eye out for dead birds.   This is usually an indication that West Nile Virus nanobugs are causing trouble in your neighborhood. Report the dead birds to your local health department so they can be collected and tested.

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