West Nile infection is caused by a virus transmitted by mosquitoes. Most people infected with West Nile virus don’t experience any signs or symptoms, or may experience only minor ones, such as fever and mild headache. However, some people who become infected with West Nile virus develop a life-threatening illness that includes inflammation of the brain.
Mild signs and symptoms of a West Nile virus infection generally go away on their own. But severe signs and symptoms — such as a severe headache, fever, disorientation or sudden weakness — require immediate attention.
Exposure to mosquitoes where West Nile virus exists increases your risk of getting West Nile virus infection.
Source: Mayo Clinic
What Can I Do to Prevent West Nile Virus?
The best defense against West Nile Virus is not giving mosquitoes a place to breed. Shallow, stagnate water provides breeding habitats for mosquitoes. Reduce your risk by following the tips below:
- Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly.
- Clean clogged roof gutters every year, especially if leaves from surrounding trees tend to plug up the drains.
- Do not let discarded tires sit outside. Properly dispose of them. If you have a tire swing, drill holes in it so water drains out.
- Drill holes in the bottom of recycling and trash containers left outdoors, to allow the water to drain out the bottom.
- Empty and remove containers with standing water around your home. This includes tin cans, plastic containers, flower pots, buckets, barrels, or similar water-holding containers.
- Turn plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows over when not in use.