Fight the Bite: Protect Yourself from West Nile Virus This Summer

California had over 200 West Nile virus cases last year. Here are the risks this summer.

As summer approaches, so does the peak season for the West Nile virus. California, in particular, has seen a significant increase in cases over the past year, with over 200 reported cases in 2020 alone. With the virus on the rise, it\’s important to know the risks and how to prevent infection.

What is West Nile virus?

West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne illness that is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. While most people who contract the virus do not experience any symptoms, some can develop severe complications, such as encephalitis or meningitis.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of West Nile virus can vary from person to person. Some may experience no symptoms at all, while others may develop a fever, headache, body aches, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. In severe cases, individuals may experience neurological symptoms, such as confusion, seizures, or paralysis.

Who is at risk?

Anyone can contract West Nile virus, but those who spend a lot of time outdoors, particularly during dawn and dusk, are at a higher risk of being bitten by an infected mosquito. Additionally, individuals with weakened immune systems, such as the elderly or those with chronic illnesses, are more susceptible to severe complications from the virus.

How can you prevent infection?

Preventing infection from West Nile virus involves taking measures to avoid mosquito bites. This includes wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants, using insect repellent, and staying indoors during peak mosquito activity. Additionally, it\’s important to eliminate standing water around your home, as this can serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

In conclusion, as summer approaches, it\’s important to be aware of the risks associated with West Nile virus. By taking the necessary precautions to prevent mosquito bites, you can reduce your risk of contracting the virus and protect your health. Stay safe and enjoy the sunny season!