Watch Out For The West Nile Virus This Summer For Your Health’s Sake
This may sound like a red alert that could potentially make you get all worked up. But don’t. This post will help you get to the bottom of this disease. The first thing to note is that the tiny but deadly mosquito transmits it. Moreover, what’s worse is that warmer temperatures favor many if not all bugs. So, as you plan to have those outdoor summer activities, beware of the mosquitoes. In this post, you’ll learn what the West Nile virus is, its symptoms and its incidence in the US.
West Nile Virus
Is it a deadly one? Is it contagious? What can I do about it? You may be having these and more questions going through your mind. Well, here is some trusted information about this virus.
West Nile virus is an infectious disease that can cause flu-like symptoms. It’s usually spread by infected mosquitos. It first appeared in the United States in 1999. Most people infected with the virus have mild symptoms or no symptoms. Rarely, the virus can enter the brain and cause life-threatening complications.
You may have a higher risk for infection by the virus if you live in an area where it has been found in humans, birds, horses, or mosquitoes. Read more at Family Doctor
Does the description “flu-like symptoms” ring a bell? It sure does and that’s why you need to know the difference between West Nile Virus and Covid-19.
Comparison with Covid-19
If there’s any disease that is dreadful at the moment, it is covid-19. You wouldn’t want to imagine that you’re down with it. But the problem here is that there are other viruses that cause flu-like symptoms in people. Here’s how to distinguish the two:
Symptoms Similar To West Nile Virus And COVID-19
A lot of viruses tend to cause fevers, which you can see in both. Feeling really tired and fatigued. Headache and body aches.
West Nile neuro-invasive disease can affect the brain and the spinal cord. When that happens, you can get much higher fevers, neck stiffness, muscle weakness and even more severe things like confusion, coma, tremors. The severe form can lead to death in some cases.
The incubation period is about two to 14 days — the time it takes from exposure to the virus to getting infection and symptoms from it.
What Symptom Separates The Two Viruses?
Headache is probably more predominant in West Nile than COVID. But the real distinguishing factor, from a symptom standpoint, between COVID-19 and West Nile virus is seen in the more severe form — the neuro-invasive disease — where you get really severe neurologic symptoms that we don’t typically see in COVID. Read more at Kera News
Ideally, your best bet is to get a test to distinguish which of the viruses you may have contracted.
West Nile Virus in the US
Information always arms us with power to deal with the situation we are facing. So, it is worth noting where the virus is common in your surrounding area. Here’s a recent report.
Nationwide, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there have been a total of 664 cases reported, as of May 25. Of those 505 of them were classified as neuroinvasive disease, which means they involved meningitis, an inflammation of the brain, and encephalitis, inflammation of the membranes around the brain and spinal cord.
There have been two reported cases of West Nile in Virginia and one in Maryland, as of May 25. Both states have reported neuroinvasive cases. Read more at WTOP
Its clear that this is one illness you want to stay away from. Prevention is always better than cure.
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