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West Nile Virus, All About It

1113 words - 4 pages

The West Nile Virus. This is something that we have heard a lot about these past few summers. The only thing is that the virus has been around for quite a while but has never spread like it has these past years. The virus is very threatening in the mosquito-infested areas such as we live in. It can be a deadly virus causing brain infection, you to become paralyzed or even death if you do not know how to treat it, but if you catch it in time you may be able to stop it.The virus was first found in Africa in 1937. Then in 1999 and 2000 the virus hit New York and the following summers spread to the west. Now it is all over the United States. The virus is spread when a mosquito bites an infected bird. Then when the mosquito feeds on a human, horse, or any other animal, the virus is injected in the blood where it multiplies and causes illness. The first case in North Dakota was on June 30, 2002. A two-year-old horse was infected with the virus.The top three things that we need to be concerned with are: the avoidance of being bitten, mosquito proofing our homes, and helping out others in our community with the fight against mosquitoes.When you walk outside in the summer, one of the main things you will see and hear is the buzzing of the mosquitoes. There are usually no guarantees that you can prevent yourself from being bitten around here, unless you cover yourself in winter clothes or walk around in a glass bubble. Even when you put mosquito spray on it still doesn't seem like it is enough, they just bite right through it, so, you need to make sure that you are using a mosquito spray that contains DEET. According to the EPA, this spray is relatively safe as long as you read and follow the directions very carefully. Don't apply repellents containing permethrin directly to skin or those containing DEET on skin underneath clothing. Also make sure that every part of your exposed skin is covered including your clothing if you feel that it is necessary. Some of the ways to try and prevent being bitten are wearing long sleeve shirts, socks and long pants using mosquito spray on top of your clothing adds extra protection. You also need to be aware of the mosquito's peak hours and by staying away from swampy or wet areas where mosquitoes live and breed. The peak hours are from dusk until dawn. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention also states that it is extremely important to prevent this illness in very young children, because they are very fragile, and their bodies aren't strong enough to fight severe infections.Now that you know a little bit about how to protect your body, lets move on to bigger things like our house and our communities. In order for prevention of mosquitoes in your home you may want to think about the following things as recommended by the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). First, you need to repair or install new screens. Mosquitoes love to be inside and will find ways to if your screens are not fixed. Try to put...

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