Mr. Nile Virus
Do you know who Mr. Nile Virus is? You don't? Well, listen, err, read very carefully. He is your unfriendly neighborhood mosquito who makes people sick. Make people sick? Yes, because he is carrying a virus, a very tiny particle which is about a thousand times smaller than a bacteria (Freudenrich, n.d.). Be sure to avoid him because if he comes near you and gets the chance to bite you, you can be potentially ill. You may develop encephalitis or meningitis because of the bite of Mr. Nile Virus (Ogedegbe, 2003). These two forms of diseases, aside from difficult to spell, could be serious and deadly. In medical terms, the suffix "itis" means inflammation. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, meningitis is the inflammation of the membranes or the meninges that surround the brain and the spinal cord while encephalitis is the inflammation of the brain itself.
Does it mean everyone is at risk of being infected by Mr. Nile Virus? In a sense, yes. However, the degree of being at risk depends on some factors. Meaning, some people are at low risk of being infected and some people are at greater risk of being infected. For example, people who spend a lot of time outdoors are most likely to be bitten by Mr. Nile Virus.
Also, if you are over 50 years old and get the infection, you are more likely to develop serious symptoms. Let me give you an example. There is this study in North /Dakota, a place where many cases of the virus have been recorded, which shows that the median age of those who were victimized by Mr. Nile Virus and were hospitalized in the period 2002 to 2007 was 58 years (range: 5 to 95) (Borchardt, 2010). This means that people who are over 50 years old are most likely to fall prey to the bite of Mr. Nile Virus and since they are elderly, their immune system is weaker compared to young victims, thus, they easily develop deadly symptoms. Therefore, older people should take more precautions to escape the virus.
Wait, don't shout for joy yet only because you are ages away from being 50 years old. Remember, Mr. Nile Virus bites just anyone. Yes, just anyone. - young and old, girls and boys, black and white. Yes, it doesn't matter if you're black or white (Michael is that you?).
Does it mean you can no longer get out of the house to play with your friends and neighbors? Of course, you still can. However, you must avoid the hours between dusk and dawn because these are the favorite time of day of Mr. Nile Virus when he is busy looking for his victims. If you are sent for an errand or can't wait to play with your friends, be sure that you wear long sleeves and pants and that you wear light-colored clothing so you can easily see Mr. Nile Virus when he lands on your skin and give him a big high five. Also, ask your mom or dad to buy you mosquito repellent that suits your age (MDPH, 2009). The best way to prevent being infected by Mr. Nile Virus is to...