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Health Authorities Issue Warning as West Nile Virus Emerges in the US

Representation for West Nile Virus testing

United States: A new virus, West Nile Virus, has knocked on the doors of the United States, and now the health authorities have been issuing precautionary measures to offer protection against the infection. Recently, the advisory was shared by the Tehama County Public Health, which cautioned the public about the possible threat of the West Nile virus.

The health officials have outlined that the concerns and worries related to the infection are high, as recently, northern California has been experiencing significant rainfall, which has resulted in standing water, according to reports by Daily News.

Additionally, the health officials mentioned that this standing water can act as a breeding source for mosquitoes – which serves as the transmission mode for West Nile virus.

Additionally, the health officials mentioned that hot temperature, as summers are approaching, can act as catalyst in contributing towards the increase in number of breeding mosquitoes. Accordingly, the officials have mentioned that this will definitely increase the risk of transmission among humans.

As per the reports, the Public Health Department stated, “As we approach mosquito season, residents need to be aware of mosquitoes and take measures to reduce their risk of contracting the West Nile virus.”

How West Nile virus can be explained?

The infection of the West Nile Virus is dangerous, and it affects the central nervous system of human beings.

Visual Representation for West Nile Virus | Credits: CDC

The transmission takes place via mosquito bite due to the presence of an infected mosquito, and later, that mosquito becomes a carrier of the virus if it bites a bird with West Nile. In addition, ticks admit viruses into mammals via biting. The viruses then get into humans, horses, or other animals through tick bites.

Typically, West Nile virus is symptomless, although almost a fifth of infected people experience symptoms including fever, rash, headaches, and muscle aches. Aged fifty years and above, individuals with medical complications also have a greater likelihood of encountering issues caused by encephalitis.

Precautionary measures by health authorities!

After seeing a possible outbreak from the disease, the health authorities shared some tips which can assist people in protecting them against the mosquito bite and infection. It further mentioned that people must use simple and proven strategies for protection against the infection. 

The suggestions by the health authorities to avoid the virus were:

  • People can use insect repellents with DEET, 
  • Stay inside during dawn and dusk, 
  • Make sure doors and windows have tight screens and 
  • Remove standing water from places like flowerpots to stop mosquitoes from breeding.

Another measure was shared by the Department of Health, which mentioned that if a dead bird is discovered, it should not be touched. Instead, use gloves or a shovel and put it in a plastic bag. Reporting dead birds can help in fighting against the West Nile virus.

Representation for mosquito carrying West Nile Virus

Infection among horses!

According to health experts, horses can also get West Nile virus. While most recover, about one in three infected horses might die or need to be put down. Horses get infected like humans, and if they show signs like stumbling, circling, leg weakness, or muscle tremors, they may have it. There’s a vaccine for horses to prevent West Nile virus, and horse owners should talk to their vets.

West Nile virus and its roots in Tehama County!

At first, the case of West Nile virus was reported in Tehama County in August 2022, but Butte and Shasta counties reported other cases. 

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