Myths Regarding West Nile Virus

 


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As we turn from winter to spring, it is time to get outside again. This, of course, means you have to deal with mosquitoes and the potential of West Nile Virus if bitten.

West Nile Virus is a virus that can cause severe and occasionally fatal sickness. That being said, it has been overblown a bit by the media machine. While over 3,000 people were infected with it in 2005, only 119 died. Nobody wants to minimize death, but it is important to note that catching West Nile is not a death sentence in any way.

There is often an assumption made by people that they can’t do much to prevent West Nile Virus. In fact, you can. The virus is transferred through mosquito bites. As a result, you need to tale simple steps to prevent bites. Steps include wearing insect repellent and making sure all screens on your windows and doors at home are in good shape.

A popular belief is West Nile Virus is particularly deadly for kids. In fact, it is the other end of the age scale where problems occur. Individuals 50 or older have a tough time with West Nile. More than half of all deaths caused by the virus are people 50 or older. In fact, the older a person is, the more likely death will occur.

Another myth is that the mosquito is all powerful and cannot be prevented. This is entirely untrue. Mosquitoes are a product of their grounds. In this case, we are talking about breeding grounds. If you have a mosquito problem around your house, look for standing water. It can be in bucket or somewhere on the ground. Regardless, standing water is the breeding ground of mosquitoes and should be dealt with immediately. If you can eliminate the breeding ground, you are well on your way to solving a mosquito problem.

West Nile Virus is a serious disease, but it is rarely a killer. That being said, it can make even the healthiest person very sick. If you take common sense preventative steps, you should be able to avoid any problems.

John Grimes is with All Terrain - makers of natural insect repellent for the outdoors.

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