Former Plano councilman says West Nile nearly killed him

Saturday, 25 Aug, 2018

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) announced it was raising the risk level for West Nile virus from low to moderate in every Massachusetts city and town and urged residents to take precautions against mosquito bites.

Bay County health spokeswoman Heather Kretzer says eight out of 10 people who have West Nile will have no symptoms at all. In addition to the eight human cases, three MI blood donors have had WNV detected in their blood.

There is no specific treatment for West Nile virus other than to treat symptoms. About one-in-five infected persons will have mild illness with fever, and about one in 150 infected people will become severely ill.

Although there is no vaccine or specific treatment for WNV, people should consult a physician if they develop symptoms such as high fever and headache. Recommendations include: removing stagnant water sources; keeping animals inside during the bugs' feeding times, which are typically early in the morning and evening; and using mosquito repellents. Other tips include getting rid of stagnant water, checking window and door screens, putting new water in bird baths, and trimming any tall grass or weeds.

WNV is spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito and is not transmitted person to person. Avoid being outside at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active if possible.

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Cover up your exposed skin with long trousers and long sleeves.

Experts say the best was to prevent WNV is to get rid of the number of mosquitoes around your home by eliminating their breeding habitats. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change water in birdbaths frequently.

-Repair: Keep mosquitoes outside.

¯ Use insect repellent containing DEET and follow label instructions.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has already issued a warning over virus' risk of spreading across the continent. For more information about West Nile Virus, call the health unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext.