West Nile Virus Prevention

North Carolina Residents first heard of the dangers of The West Nile Virus in 1999. Since the first report of this harmful and deadly disease, most news outlets were only relaying and measuring the fatality count.

What a lot of people don’t realize are the lasting affects of West Nile to the survivors.

Since August of 2012 there have been 1,590 recorded cases of the West Nile Virus. Of the 1,590 recorded cases, more than half (889) have developed neuroinvasive disease which is the most severe form of the West Nile Virus.

It’s important to remember that approximately 80% of people who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all. Only 20% of people who become infected will display symptoms, which can include fever, headache, and body aches.  Roughly one in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness.

The key to raising awareness is to share information widely.  We must:

  • focus on reducing the mosquito population, and
  • acknowledge the serious impact of mosquito borne encephalitis such as West Nile and share information and support with survivors and families.

Like a seatbelt in a car, these are not precautions to be taken with loud and dramatic panic. But we can take these important public safety steps through education, self-respect and motivation, to protect our loved ones and ourselves.

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