Hello; friends, fans, and blog followers, Hunter here. I’m back again this week to give you another morsel of pest education goodness. This week I’ll be providing important information about West Nile Fever (WNF). WNF is a direct effect from the West Nile Virus.

If you have been watching the news lately you know that there are patches of West Nile Fever epidemics happening in several areas across the United States. From Texas and continuing throughout the South WNF is occurring at an alarming rate. The reason is; the very mild winter the south experienced this year, followed by record heat this summer. Mosquitoes are harboring and reproducing in mass quantities in any accumulated water source they can find. Many of our southern cities are on emergency status and are implementing all possible means to get the mosquito situation under control. We can expect this situation to continue deep into autumn.

The reason there is so much fear is that WNF is potentially fatal to humans. The reality is that 1/1000 people who are infected by West Nile Virus will end up dying. That happens if the WNF progresses to the third strain of the disease. Birds and horses frequently suffer death from the virus infection. Humans are at much less at risk of dying. That’s nice to know, isn’t it?

West Nile Virus exists in 3 stages. In the first stage, the sufferer does not feel any symptoms and would not even know they were infected. In over 70% of cases, this is as far as the disease goes and it does not progress to any of the 2 more unpleasant strains – West Nile Fever or West Nile encephalitis/meningitis. In about 25 or 30% of instances, the sufferer experiences West Nile Fever symptoms, the incubation period of which is 3 to 8 days. Less than 1% of all infected with West Nile will suffer from one of the brain complications; encephalitis or meningitis.

So, what are the main West Nile Fever symptoms? Firstly, it should be said that all of these symptoms could be a result of infection of other diseases and so you should see a veterinarian. Oops… I mean doctor to be sure if you have WNF. The main symptoms, then, are high fever, headaches, swollen glands, heavy sweating, shivers, and fatigue. Sufferers may also get upset stomachs and feel nauseous, have diarrhea (a pretty word but unpleasant condition) and vomit regularly. Most of these symptoms will disappear on their own after about 10 days. However many infected have complained of feeling fatigued for many weeks after and having swollen glands for several months.

What should you do if you feel West Nile Fever symptoms? In reality, there is not a lot you can do since there are no cures for the illness. Also, since it is viral infection antibiotics will be of no help as they can only battle bacterial infections. The best you can do is seek the advice of a doctor about the best supportive treatment that you can do for yourself to reduce the unpleasantness of the symptoms.

The best way to avoid an encounter with WNF mosquitoes is first, head to my previous blogs, on how to discourage a mosquito bite through precautionary measures.

If you have any questions; give us a call, contact us on our website, or social media.

This is Hunter, Loyal’s K-9 Termite Detective, asking What’s Buggin’ You? I’ll be barking at you next week, Ruff! Ruff!

West Nile Fever – What You Should Know in Virginia

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