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West Nile Virus Symptoms

The West Nile virus can make a person extremely ill and it can even cause death. Getting immediate medical attention is one of the most important steps in

Aedes albopictus - Tiger mosquito

Aedes albopictus – Tiger mosquito (Photo credit: Camponotus Vagus)

taking action against it. Those that get the help they need early on have the most chance of being able to recover from it. Even with medical care though it can take months for a person to fully recover from the West Nile virus. It can also greatly weaken their immune system which makes them susceptible to other forms of illnesses.

The symptoms of West Nile may be very serve or very mild for the individual. Initially many people believe they just have the flu. They may feel very tired and they may be achy in areas all over their body. Sometimes this is accompanied by a headache or a fever as well. Some individuals will notice they have a rash on parts of their body, generally where they have been bitten by mosquitoes. One of the most common symptoms though is swollen glands.

In more severe cases of West Nile the person will have vomiting and diarrhea to deal with. This can lead to the person becoming dehydrated and even lethargic. Many individuals do seek assistance though with this because they are worried they may have food poisoning. A person can end up being out of energy and tired for months after they have initially been diagnosed with West Nile virus.

There are a couple of advanced symptoms of West Nile that are life threatening. It if it is left untreated it can spread into the brain. Should this happen death is almost certain. The tissues that are around the brain will become inflamed and swollen. This is known as Encephalitis. Sometimes the spinal cord tissues will also become inflamed which is known as meningitis.

Should you or someone you know have symptoms that could be related to West Nile, you should seek medical treatment. They can run tests to find out for sure. It may turn out to be just the flu or something but you should find out. West Nile is too brutal of a virus for you to have and not get treated.

This year, West Nile virus is certainly a serious issue in many areas. It is essential to do all you can to prevent it from becoming something you or a loved one has to deal with. If you are outdoors when there are mosquitoes about you need to make sure you have very powerful repellent on. You should reapply it every few hours for yourself and for children. Be sure it contains high levels of DEET in order for it to be effective as it is required to be against mosquitoes.

It is very important do all you can to prevent mosquitoes from coming into your home. If you keep the doors or the windows open due to the heat you need to make sure you have good screens on them. Repair any holes and replace screens where they may be coming in. There are also mosquito candles and repellents you can place on your porch to keep them away from your home. Fly strips work nicely to catch the few strays that may make it in as you open and shut doors.

Most communities have effective means of spraying in order to control mosquitoes as well. They often do this spraying late at night and it works well. The problem though is that over time many mosquitoes become resistant to what is being used. Which means harsher chemicals have to be used to take care of them. Most communities will also provide the public with information should there be confirmed cases of West Nile in your community.

Mosquitoes lay many hundreds of eggs in areas of water so try to eliminate them as well. If there are puddles in your drive way use a broom to move the water so it won’t pile up. Be sure to have effective drainage systems on your home as well. This way the water will drain from there and begin to seep into the ground instead of stagnating in a puddle.

The West Nile virus can make people of all ages very seriously ill. It can take months for a person to recover from it. Some people have too weak of an immune system to effectively fight it. So it is essential that you are able to do your part to prevent mosquitoes from biting you in the first place.