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Protect Yourself From The West Nile Virus

Townsqure Media Texarkana

There has been a local death from the West Nile Virus. There are things you can do to protect yourself to some degree.The Texas Department of  State Health Services says to fight the bite with the 4 D’s.

1. Stay indoors at dusk and dawn. This is the most active part of the day for mosquitoes.

2. Dress in long sleeves/pants, loose and light colored clothing when outdoors.

3. Defend yourself from mosquitoes by using an insect repellent that contains DEET, Picardin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. Follow label instructions. Use no more than 30% DEET on children.  DO NOT USE DEET on infants younger than 2 months of age.

4. Drain standing water in your yard and neighborhood. Also make sure that flower pots, water dishes, bird baths, and wading pools are properly drained so they are not breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Agitate waters in bird baths and wading pools.

Signs of West Nile Fever include possible fever, mild rash on chest, back and arms, headache, back pain, muscle aches.

The more serious West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease includes those possible symptoms as well as present with meningitis, encephalitis, paralysis or a mixture of these.

80% of those who contract West Nile will be asymptomatic and show no signs and should have life-long immunity.

19% will show West Nile Fever Symptoms and should have life-long immunity.

1% will develop the dangerous neuroinvasive form of the disease.

Age is by far the most important factor for developing the serious infection. Also people with underlying health problems will be at greater risk.

Patients over 50 years of age have a 10 fold increase risk of the serious complication.

Patients over 80 years of age have a 43 fold increased risk of the serious complication.

Patients who develop meningitis or sever encephalitis have a fatality rate of 5-10%.

The threat from the West Nile Virus should wane later in the fall especially by late October.

 

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