West Nile Virus
Previously found only in West Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe, West Nile encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain caused by the West Nile virus. The disease is spread by the bite of an infected Northern house mosquito. Mosquitoes get the virus when they bite a bird infected with the virus. People over 50 and those with compromised immune systems are most at risk of developing serious illness.
Symptoms of the West Nile virus include headache, body aches, swollen lymph glands and a rash. More severe infection can include high fever, disorientation, stiff neck, headache, paralysis and coma. West Nile virus is not transmitted from person to person. Only infected mosquitoes can transmit the virus. The incubation period for the virus is from five to fifteen days. There is no vaccine or prescribed therapy for the West Nile virus.
Minimizing the mosquito population will help reduce the risk of transmission of this disease. You can reduce the number of mosquitoes by reducing the amount of standing water available for mosquito breeding around your home and in your neighborhood. Taking these easy to follow steps can reduce the mosquito population: