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Pest control tip: What is the West Nile Virus?

by on October 10, 2011

Most people have heard of the West Nile Virus (WNV), but may not know exactly what it is, how it is transmitted, what the symptoms are and who is more at-risk.

West Nile Virus is found in the majority of temperate areas of North America and mostly affects birds. WNV is transmitted from bird to bird by infected mosquitoes; however, mosquitoes can also infect humans through their bites. Pest control specialists say although you should take being infected by WNV seriously, only one percent of those individuals who have been infected will incur severe symptoms.

Most cases of WVN occur in the late summer months and early fall. Pest control experts say those infected will likely experience a fever, skin irritations, swollen lymph glands, headaches and body aches. More severe cases will suffer from a high fever, neck stiffness, tremors, confusion, a dazed state, convulsions and possibly paralysis.

Most people will only experience mild symptoms, but individuals with a weakened immune system, people over the age of 50 and infants are more likely to suffer from severe symptoms because of the inability of their immune system to fight off the infection. Regardless of your age or the state of your immune system, if you have been bitten by a mosquito and begin to feel any of these symptoms, you should call your doctor immediately.

Unfortunately there is no vaccine against West Nile Virus. Most infected individuals will have to be hospitalized until the infection subsides. To avoid possible infection, contact your local pest control company to find out how you can protect your property against mosquitoes.

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