The first human case due to the West Nile Virus mosquitoes has been confirmed by the Vermont Department of Health, after a Windsor County resident developed a more severe form of illness known as the West Nile neuroinvasive disease.
When this happens, the brain is attacked by the infection, thus affecting the nervous system. Mosquitoes take the virus after biting other infected animals, such as rats.
The present situation has determined the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets to take active measures in order to prevent these mosquitoes from further spreading. However, mosquito pools haven’t been tested yet for Eastern Equine Encephalitis or West Nile Virus.
Experts explain that most people usually do not develop the disease, but 20 percent of them suffer from severe symptoms such as fatigue, headache, muscle aches, and fever.
Children, seniors, pregnant women, and people with weak immune systems are more likely to develop these symptoms than the others.
Doctors also stated that less than 1 percent of the people infected with the West Nile Virus suffer from the severe consequences of neuroinvasive disease consisting of paralysis, seizures, tremors, disorientation, and even coma.
Since 2003, authorities registered nine human cases of West Nile virus. Until June 2016, the last reported case was in 2013.
Health officials underlined that is highly unusual to hear about one of those cases this early in the summer as they usually occurred in late August.
According to Bradley Tompkins, infectious disease epidemiologist, residents must be aware of the real threat posed by the disease-carrying mosquitoes, so they need to take active measures of precaution to prevent getting infected with the virus.
Mosquitoes are most active at sunrise and sunset, therefore, people should avoid being outside during these periods of the day as much as possible.
Also, wearing protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts and pants might be your best bet to prevent these insects from biting you.
Experts recommend people to purchase an excellent mosquito repellent containing lemon eucalyptus and picaridin. The safest products are EPA-registered and contain maximum 30 percent DEET.
A higher percentage is regarded as dangerous for your skin. It is also worth mentioning that DEET repellents must not be used on babies younger than two months.
Most importantly, residents need to make sure that there is no source of standing water near their houses including old tires, wading pools, and rain gutters as they are the ideal breeding environment for West Nile virus mosquitoes.
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