Killer African Virus Shows Up In Iowa Park

KCCI, Des Moines | AMES, Iowa — Mosquitoes in a city park have tested positive for the West Nile virus.

Iowa State reported Monday that mosquitoes in Ames’ Emma McCarthy Lee Park tested positive for the disease.

Entomologist Ryan Smith said although the virus has been in Iowa for nearly 20 years, the state’s two confirmed cases and one death this year give some cause for concern.

Ames Parks and Recreation Director Keith Abraham said that his department will increase fogging efforts to kill off mosquitoes before they hatch.

“What the fogging will do is kill the mosquitoes while they are flying,” Abraham said.

Meanwhile, Smith said avoiding mosquito bites altogether is the best way to limit the risk of exposure. Read the full story at KCCI. 

Zika, West Nile virus reported in Alabama, health department warns

Fox News – Alabama health officials are investigating multiple reports of Zika and the West Nile virus in the area, the state’s health agency said in a Monday afternoon news release.

Shelby County health officials confirmed at least one Zika case in Pelham, the Pelham Patch reported Monday. Officials, however, stressed that Zika hasn’t been transmitted locally.

“To date in Alabama, the Zika virus has only been identified in individuals known to have traveled to areas where Zika is known to be endemic. There has been no local transmission,” the agency explained.

Fortunately, there are precautionary steps people can take — like using certain types of bug repellent and wearing loose, full sleeves and pants.

People can get the Zika virus from mosquito bites, sex, and blood transfusions, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains on its website. A pregnant woman can also pass it onto her baby, the agency warned.

Muscle pain, joint pain, rash, and fever are some of the common symptoms of the virus. Read more at Fox News. 

West Nile fever: originated in Uganda 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

West Nile fever is a viral infection typically spread by mosquitoes. In about 75% of infections, people have few or no symptoms. About 20% of people develop a fever, headache, vomiting, or a rash.

In less than 1% of people, encephalitis or meningitis occurs, with associated neck stiffness, confusion, or seizures. Recovery may take weeks to months. The risk of death among those in whom the nervous system is affected is about 10%.

West Nile virus is typically spread by infected mosquitoes. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds.

Rarely the virus is spread through blood transfusions, organ transplants, or from mother to baby during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding. It otherwise does not spread directly between people. Risks for severe disease include age over 60 and other health problems.

Diagnosis is typically based on symptoms and blood tests.

There is no human vaccine. The best method to reduce the risk of infections is avoiding mosquito bites. This may be done by eliminating standing pools of water, such as in old tires, buckets, gutters, and swimming pools.

Mosquito repellent, window screens, mosquito nets, and avoiding areas where mosquitoes occur may also be useful.

While there is no specific treatment, pain medications may be useful.

WNV has occurred in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and North America.

In the United States, thousands of cases are reported a year, with most occurring in August and September. It can occur in outbreaks of disease.

The virus was discovered in Uganda in 1937 and was first detected in North America in 1999.

Severe disease may also occur in horses and a vaccine for these animals is available. A surveillance system in birds is useful for early detection of a potential human outbreak.

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West Nile virus

CDC – West Nile is a virus most commonly spread to people by mosquito bites.

n North America, cases of West Nile virus (WNV) occur during mosquito season, which starts in the summer and continues through fall.

WNV cases have been reported in all of the continental United States. There are no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat WNV in people. Fortunately, most people infected with WNV do not have symptoms.

About 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever and other symptoms. About 1 out of 150 infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, illness. You can reduce your risk of WNV by using insect repellent and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants to prevent mosquito bites.

Symptoms, Diagnosis, & Treatment

Symptoms

  • No symptoms in most people. Most people (8 out of 10) infected with West Nile virus do not develop any symptoms.
  • Febrile illness (fever) in some people. About 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Most people with this type of West Nile virus disease recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months.
  • Serious symptoms in a few people. About 1 in 150 people who are infected develop a severe illness affecting the central nervous system such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord).
  • Symptoms of severe illness include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness, and paralysis.

Severe illness can occur in people of any age; however, people over 60 years of age are at greater risk. People with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, and people who have received organ transplants, are also at greater risk.

Recovery from severe illness might take several weeks or months. Some effects to the central nervous system might be permanent.

About 1 out of 10 people who develop severe illness affecting the central nervous system die.

Diagnosis

See your healthcare provider if you develop the symptoms described above.

Your healthcare provider can order tests to look for West Nile virus infection.

To learn more about testing, visit our Healthcare Providers page.

Treatment

No vaccine or specific antiviral treatments for West Nile virus infection are available. Over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to reduce fever and relieve some symptoms.

In severe cases, patients often need to be hospitalized to receive supportive treatment, such as intravenous fluids, pain medication, and nursing care.

If you think you or a family member might have West Nile virus disease, talk with your healthcare provider.

To learn more about treatment, visit our Healthcare Providers page.

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