CNN Health Report On West Nile Outbreak

Today’s report on CNN Health by Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen states that this season’s West Nile virus outbreak is the largest to date in the United States, with 1,118 reported cases, including 42 deaths. Most cases have occurred in Mississippi, Louisiana, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and primarily in Texas, where  586 cases and 21 deaths have been confirmed.

Please read the entire article on CNN Health

Here is a summary 5 things you need to know about West Nile virus as outlined in the article:

  1. Most mosquitoes do not carry West Nile.   Only about one in 500 mosquitoes is infected, according to the Connecticut Mosquito Management Program.
  2. Most people (about 80%) bit by West Nile mosquitoes do not get sick.    
  3. People over 50 are most vulnerable.
  4. Seek medical care immediately if you have severe headaches or confusion.   If you develop symptoms of severe West Nile virus illness, such as unusually severe headaches or confusion, seek medical attention immediately.   Milder cases improve on their own.
  5. You can help prevent West Nile with the “four Ds:”
    1. Use mosquito repellent with DEET.
    2. Dress in long pants and long sleeves.
    3. Be especially careful at dusk and dawn.
    4. Drain any standing water, such as kiddie pools or bird fountains, where mosquitoes like to breed.

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