West Nile Virus

Monday, October 22, 2012

As the seasons change and it begins to get colder, the risk for West Nile Virus drops, but the percentage of infected mosquitoes remains dangerous. Dr. Edward Hill begins the first of a two-part look at this potentially fatal condition in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

West Nile Virus is a potentially deadly illness. Experts believe West Nile Virus is established as a seasonal epidemic in North America that flares up in the summer and continues into the fall.

Prevention measures consist of community-based mosquito control programs that are able to reduce vector populations, personal protection measures to reduce the likelihood of being bitten by infected mosquitoes, and surveillance programs that characterize patterns in risk.

The easiest and best way to avoid West Nile Virus is to prevent mosquito bites.

Reported human cases of West Nile Virus generally peak from mid-August through mid-September, depending on weather. Nationwide, the number of West Nile Virus human cases is at an all-time high since the virus was first detected in the U.S. in 1999.

The best strategy to defeat the mosquito, health officials say, is to wear long sleeves and pants, and use mosquito repellent when outdoors in the evening. Officials also recommend clearing all places where standing water can accumulate.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.