State health officials boost West Nile virus risk level to ‘moderate’ statewide

by Noah Mcgee August 22, 2018, 23:29
State health officials boost West Nile virus risk level to ‘moderate’ statewide

Dress - Wear light-coloured long-sleeved shirts and pants.

The Gwinnett County Health Department is investigating a case of West Nile Virus reported in a resident.

Most infected people don't get symptoms. Clinical signs for WNV include flu-like symptoms, where the horse seems mildly anorexic and depressed.

The majority of WNV human cases in the state occur during the months of August and September.

"We are urging the public to use precautions against mosquito bites while attending outdoor events".

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'The few cases of West Nile virus diagnosed in the United Kingdom have been due to insect bites overseas and the risk of contracting the infection in this country is low'. Follow label instructions, and always wear repellent when outdoors. DEET-free products (such as those containing icardin, p-menthane-3, 8-diol /lemon-eucalyptus oil, or soybean oil) are also available, but may not provide as long-lasting protection. Check rain gutters and drains. Fix or replace screens that have tears or other openings.

Animal owners should reduce potential mosquito breeding sites on their property by eliminating standing water from containers such as buckets, tires, and wading pools - especially after heavy rains. Residents should also ensure home door and window screens fit securely and are free of holes.

But mosquitoes would need to bite infected animals to transmit the disease to humans, so Public Health England says the risk remains low.

Although 80% of infected people will show no symptoms, in 20% of cases the virus will develop into West Nile fever (WNF) - a febrile, influenza-like illness characterized by an abrupt onset of moderate to high fever with headache, sore throat, muscle and joint pain, backache, fatigue, nausea and diarrhoea. Sightings of sick or dying crows or blue jays should be reported to any health department.

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