West Nile Virus Hits the South Plains - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/13/02

West Nile Virus Hits the South Plains

According to the Centers for Disease Control, there have been a total of 150 cases of West Nile Virus in humans confirmed and 18 of those people died. All infected by mosquitos carrying the virus. Sounds scary, but the numbers are misleading.

The CDC explains further that: "even if the mosquito is infected, less than 1% of people who get bitten and become infected will get severely ill" because most humans infected by the West Nile Virus have no symptoms. The virus just goes away on its own. If you are among the few who develop symptoms, they may include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Lethargy
  • Skin rash on the chest, back, and arms
  • Swollen lymph glands

Those seriously infected, particularly the elderly, may develop:

  • Stiff neck
  • Muscle weakness
  • Disorientation

Now about animals, since this is the first confirmed case on the South Plains that has killed a horse in Lockney, the CDC says you cannot get the virus from an infected animal, nor can an animal pass it to another animal. Also, it cannot be passed from person to person.

So, remember, the only way to get the West Nile Virus is from a mosquito bite, and millions of mosquitos out there are not carrying the virus. Just remember, you can protect yourself by using a good bug spray when you're outside.

In a recent HealthWise report, NewsChannel 11 told you that reseachers tested all the bug sprays and lotions on the market, and they determined that Off: Deep Woods works the best and adds the longest protection against mosquitos for five hours.

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