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West Nile Virus: What You Need to Know

By joslyngray |

Even with rain slowing up pesticide-spraying efforts in Dallas, officials are still determined to battle the mosquitoes that are causing a the nation’s worst outbreak of West Nile Virus in Dallas County, Texas, reports The Dallas Morning News.

The current West Nile outbreak in the Dallas area alone has grown to include 230 infections and 10 deaths, about half the total in Texas, which is the highest state tally in the country. The situation is so bad that the Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings has declared a state of emergency.

The Dallas area has about 25 percent of the nation’s West Nile infections, but the fact is that West Nile Virus is in almost every state. The most up-to-date map from the CDC, which lists data as of Aug. 14, shows West Nile Virus in all states except Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Virginia.

But let’s not all freak out. Unless you want to. Sometimes freaking out is rather satisfying. But if you’d rather not lose your mind at this particular moment, here are ten facts, straight from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, about West Nile Virus: what it is, how to avoid it, and what to do if you get it.

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West Nile Virus: 10 Facts to Know

What are the symptoms of West Nile Virus?

For most people, nothing at all. Approximately 80 percent of people (about 4 out of 5) who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all.

In some people, mild symptoms. Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected have symptoms such as fever, headache, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back.

In a few people, serious symptoms. About one in 150 people infected with West Nile Virus will develop severe illness. The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent. Symptoms can last for as short as a few days, though even healthy people have become sick for several weeks.

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto)

(Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons, with added nonsense by Joslyn Gray for Strollerderby)

(via: CDC)

Recent posts from Joslyn:
Update on Paul Corby: Autistic Man’s Quest for a Heart Goes Viral
Seriously? 15 Things That Have Been Banned in Schools So Far in 2012
Expert Tips and Hilarious Photos: The Best Way to Bathe Your Dog
Cat in the Hat: The 17 Best Cat Hats on Etsy

Read more from Joslyn at Babble Pets and at her blog, stark. raving. mad. mommy.
You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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About joslyngray

joslyngray

joslyngray

Joslyn Gray is the mother of four children with a variety of challenges ranging from allergies to ADHD to Asperger Syndrome. She writes candidly and comedically about this and her generally hectic life on her light-hearted personal blog, stark. raving. mad. mommy.. Read bio and latest posts → Read joslyngray's latest posts →

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One thought on “West Nile Virus: What You Need to Know

  1. I saw the name of your blog post – West Nile Virus: 10 Facts to Know | Strollerderby – while I was browsing on the web just a while ago. Would you mind if I put a link back to http://blogs.babble.com/strollerderby/2012/08/17/west-nile-virus-what-you-need-to-know/ on my website?

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