Take precautions against West NileWest Nile virus season is now fully upon us, and culix tarsalis mosquitoes — the species most likely to carry the disease — are showing up in traps around the city. This means we should all take precautions against being bitten.
West Nile virus season is now fully upon us, and culix tarsalis mosquitoes — the species most likely to carry the disease — are showing up in traps around the city. This means we should all take precautions against being bitten.
Most people won’t even know they’re infected with West Nile, and for those who become ill, the symptoms will probably be no worse than a case of the flu: fever, headache and body aches. But for some, especially the elderly or those with lowered resistance, West Nile can be severe — even deadly.
In 2007, 86 North Dakotans had symptoms of West Nile Virus serious enough to require hospitalization and three died, according to the North Dakota Department of Health.
While it may not be possible to avoid all mosquito bites, we can take steps to lower the risk. Probably the No. 1 preventative measure is to apply mosquito repellant containing DEET before venturing outside and reapply it throughout the day.
Long sleeves and pants offer some protection against bites, and dark clothing isn’t as attractive to mosquitoes as light colors.
If possible, stay inside at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active, and avoid walking through tall grass or bushes where they congregate during the day.
If you do suffer flu symptoms lasting more than a few days, Central Valley Health Unit advises seeing a doctor. West Nile Virus isn’t something we should ignore.
(Editorials are the opinion of Jamestown Sun management and the newspaper’s editorial board)