Worcester at Risk for West Nile Virus

Filed in Lifestyle by on September 3, 2009 0 Comments

mosquitobiteTuesday the Massachusetts Department of Public Health issued a press release warning that West Nile Virus had been found in samples across the state including samples from Worcester.  Many of us in Massachusetts may not take this seriously since we hear this warning every year around this time for some part of Massachusetts.  This time the samples are from Worcester and we should step up our protection from mosquito bites.  This year the mosquito population has increased significantly because of all of the rain we got during the spring and fall.

The DPH warning also includes the threat of Triple E (Eastern Equine Encephalitis).  Though the DPH highlights the risk of severe illness for WNV to those over 50 it emphasizes that the Triple E virus can be fatal for all age groups.  Having heard this warning and acted on the recommendations for years I honestly have to say I did not know what the diseases actually were specifically.

The CDC states that West Nile Virus is a serious illness that can cause serious symptoms including:

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.

Not all people get symptoms as severe as those above but you can see what all the hooplah is about.  The CDC has a great list of what to do to prevent getting the illness which mainly focuses on avoiding and protecting yourself from mosquito bites and controlling the mosquito population around your home.  It is important to note that many children participate in outdoor sports in the fall and need to protect themselves with repellant and proper clothing.

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