Repellent at Night to Avoid the Bite (Precautions about West Nile Virus Breakouts)
West Nile virus has had a recent breakout in Massachusetts causing an added necessity for safety precautions. When you go out this upcoming weekend make sure you bring along your bug spray because this virus can be deadly.
After local schools canceled evening events and my own college sent out warnings, I decided to do a little research about the virus. West Nile virus was first identified in 1937 in Uganda in eastern Africa. This disease, transmitted by mosquitos, can produce mild to serious symptoms. Because West Nile is a type of flavivirus, it is part of an extremely dangerous group of RNA viruses. In this family are viruses which cause diseases such as dengue, yellow fever, and Japanese encaphilitis.
It was first discovered in the United States in the summer of 1999 in New York. However, as of September 2012, a total of 2,636 cases of West Nile virus disease in people, including 118 deaths, have been reported to the Center for Disease Control. Virus symptoms can vary as I said previously. These symptoms can range from headaches to stiff neck to muscle weakness. Most people infected with West Nile virus do not show symptoms; however, about 20 percent will show symptoms. Less than 1 percent of infected patients will show serious symptoms, signifying a neurological infection. Full lists of symptoms can be found on websites such as the Center for Disease Control and PubMed Health.
It is important that you know how to protect yourself from this threat. Bug spray containing DEET is your best bet when it comes to repelling mosquitos. It is also a good idea to stay away from areas of still water during dusk, dawn and early evening hours. Mosquitos breed in still water so many researchers suggest changing or emptying areas such as bird baths, pools and water gardens if West Nile infested mosquitos are at high capacity in your surroundings. Also, wear long sleeve and pant layers when outside for long amounts of time, especially around still water or in late evening hours.
Certain factors will increase the risk of West Nile virus being more serious in your body if you contract it. These factors include age, immune health and pregnancy. If you are above the age of 50, you have a heightened risk. This factor also applies to newborns and infants. If you suffer from HIV or another immune deficiency disease, your change of having a serious case of West Nile is also increased. Finally, pregnant women have an extremely high risk factor and should take all precautions possible.
Until next time, protect yourself from bugs because West Nile bites!
Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly
Discuss This Article
More Uloop Health Articles
Recent Mount Holyoke News Articles
RECENT MOUNT HOLYOKE CLASSIFIEDS
GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY
TOP MOUNT HOLYOKE NEWS
MOST POPULAR MOUNT HOLYOKE NEWS
BROWSE OTHER COLLEGES
- By CollegeAilano School of CosmetologyAlexander AcademyAmerican International CollegeAmherst CollegeAndover Newton Theological SchoolAnna Maria CollegeAssabet Valley Regional Technical SchoolAssumption CollegeBabson CollegeBancroft School of Massage TherapyBay Path CollegeBay State School of TechnologyBecker CollegeBenjamin Franklin Institute of TechnologyBentley CollegeBentley UniversityBerklee College of MusicBerkshire Community College Blackstone Valley Vocational Regional School DistrictBlue Hills Regional Technical SchoolBoston Architectural CollegeBoston Baptist CollegeBoston CollegeBoston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis IncBoston UniversityBrandeis UniversityBranford Hall Career Institute-Springfield CampusBridgewater State CollegeBristol Community College Bunker Hill Community College Cambridge CollegeCape Cod Community CollegeCatherine Hinds Institute of EstheticsCharles H McCann Technical SchoolClark UniversityCollege of the Holy CrossConway School of Landscape DesignCortiva Institute-BostonCurry CollegeDean CollegeDiGrigoli School of CosmetologyDiman Regional Technical InstituteEastern Nazarene CollegeEINE IncElms CollegeEmerson CollegeEmmanuel CollegeEmpire Beauty School-BostonEmpire Beauty School-FraminghamEmpire Beauty School-HyannisEmpire Beauty School-LowellEmpire Beauty School-MaldenEndicott CollegeEpiscopal Divinity SchoolEverest Institute-BrightonEverest Institute-ChelseaFINE Mortuary CollegeFisher CollegeFitchburg State CollegeFramingham State CollegeFranklin W Olin College of EngineeringGordon CollegeGordon-Conwell Theological SeminaryGreater Lowell Technical SchoolGreenfield Community College Hallmark Institute of PhotographyHampshire CollegeHarvard UniversityHellenic College-Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of TheologyHenris School of Hair DesignHolyoke Community CollegeHult International Business SchoolITT Technical Institute-NorwoodITT Technical Institute-WilmingtonJolie Hair and Beauty Academy-LudlowJupiter Beauty AcademyLa Baron Hairdressing Academy-BrocktonLa Baron Hairdressing Academy-New BedfordLasell CollegeLe Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts-CambridgeLesley UniversityLincoln Technical Institute-BrocktonLincoln Technical Institute-SomervilleLowell Academy Hairstyling InstituteMansfield Beauty Schools-QuincyMansfield Beauty Schools-SpringfieldMarinello School of Beauty-NorthamptonMassachusetts Bay Community CollegeMassachusetts College of Art and DesignMassachusetts College of Liberal ArtsMassachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health ScienceMassachusetts General Hospital Dietetic InternshipMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyMassachusetts Maritime AcademyMassachusetts School of LawMassasoit Community College Medical Professional InstituteMerrimack CollegeMGH Institute of Health ProfessionsMiddlesex Community College (MA)Mildred Elley-Pittsfield CampusMillennium Training InstituteMontserrat College of ArtMotoring Technical Training InstituteMount Holyoke CollegeMount Ida CollegeMount Wachusett Community CollegeNational Aviation Academy of New EnglandNational Graduate School of Quality ManagementNew England College of Business and FinanceNew England School of AcupunctureNew England School of LawNew England Tractor Trailer Training School of MassachusettsNewbury CollegeNichols CollegeNorth Bennet Street SchoolNorth Shore Community College Northeastern UniversityNorthern Essex Community CollegeNorthpoint Bible CollegePope St John XXIII National SeminaryPorter and Chester Institute of CantonPorter and Chester Institute of ChicopeePorter and Chester Institute of WestboroughPorter and Chester Institute of WoburnPortfolio Center - WalthamQuinsigamond Community College Regis CollegeRob Roy Academy-Fall RiverRob Roy Academy-TauntonSalem State CollegeSalter College-ChicopeeSalter College-West BoylstonSalter School-New BedfordSchool of the Museum of Fine Arts-BostonShawsheen Valley Regional Vocational Technical SchoolSignature Healthcare Brockton Hospital School of NursingSimmons CollegeSmith CollegeSoutheastern Technical InstituteSouthern Worcester County Regional Voc School DistrictSpa Tech Institute-IpswichSpa Tech Institute-PlymouthSpringfield CollegeSpringfield Technical Community CollegeStonehill CollegeSuffolk UniversityThe New England Conservatory of MusicThe New England Institute of ArtToni & Guy Hairdressing Academy-WorcesterTufts UniversityUniversity of Massachusetts DartmouthUniversity of Massachusetts Medical School WorcesterUniversity of Massachusetts-AmherstUniversity of Massachusetts-BostonUniversity of Massachusetts-LowellUniversity of Phoenix-MassachusettsUrban College of BostonWellesley CollegeWentworth Institute of TechnologyWestern New England CollegeWestfield State CollegeWestfield State CollegeWheaton CollegeWheelock CollegeWilliams CollegeWorcester Polytechnic InstituteWorcester State College
- By State
- By City