Detailed Information On West Nile Virus, It’s Causes, Symptoms, Prevention, Treatments, And Diagnosis
WNV is also known as the West Nile virus and has become one of the most leading causes of diseases that are mosquito-borne in nature in the United States. It spreads through the bite of a mosquito that has been infected with the virus.
Most cases of the West Nile virus are mostly seen occurring while there is a season of mosquitos that is it begins when the summer starts and continuously seen throughout the fall. As of now, no vaccines have been generated and no medications are available when it comes to direct treatment of the Nile virus.
We are fortunate that most people who are infected through WNV do not feel any kind of sickness or stress at all, but 1 out of 5 people who are bit by the mosquito have a fever that ranges from mild to severe. Usually, the fever seen here is mild. Out of 150 people, we see on a broader picture, 1 person gets seriously infected having high fever and symptoms that are fatal. However, we cannot continuously sit at home and wait for this time period to get over to step out of the houses, so we can always go for some prevention techniques that can reduce the chances of us getting infected by this virus.
In this piece of article, we shall be discussing various prevention methods, diagnosis, treatment, etc related to Nile Virus in detail. Keep scrolling.
Prevention of West Nile Virus
As we know the main cause of the spreading of this virus is through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitos may bite you or your family members day and night and you cannot probably stop them from entering your house. As there are no available vaccines, all you can do to stay from WNV is prevent yourself from getting bitten by a mosquito. Use clothes that have long sleeves, use insect repellants, etc before you step out. Let us understand these prevention techniques elaborately.
Use Of Insect Repellant
While choosing an insect repellant spray or product use Environmental Protection Agency having any ingredient mentioned below as they are highly effective in keeping mosquitos away from you and your family. These have been proven safe to be used for everyone including small kids to women who are at the stage of breastfeeding. Have a look at the ingredients necessary to keep mosquitos away while purchasing one.
- DEET, chemically named as N, N-Dimethyl-Meta-Toluamide. It is very actively used against ticks and mosquitoes as a repellant for both.
- Picaridin is also known as Icaridin (outside the United States) and KBR 3023 in the United States commonly.
- OLE or Oil of the Lemon Eucalyptus
- PMD or Para-Menthane-Diol.
- 2- Undecanone.
Tips For Toddlers And Children
The chances of mosquitos biting your child are quite higher than yours as children love playing outside whatever the circumstances are. They do not care about mosquitoes or anything while playing. So, keep these tips in mind while sending them out or inside your home.
- Make sure to provide them clothes and dress them up that entirely covers their legs and arms.
- If you are going for a walk with a toddler stroller, do not forget to use a mosquito net as an item of simple clothing that will not do the work.
- If you are using an insect spray or repellant on your child, make sure to read all the instructions carefully that are mentioned on the label.
- Do not go for using an insect repellant cream or spray on your child that contains traces of oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol as they are chemicals that might be good for your child below the age of 3 or 4.
- While applying insect repellant on your child, skip it on their palms as they keep touching their face and sucking their thumb. Other areas to exclude are the mouth, eyes, irritated skin, or any cuts.
- As an adult, you can take some cream or pray on your hands and then apply it everywhere on the child’s body.
Tips For Grown-ups
- Take a careful look at the label instruction given and apply it accordingly.
- If you are someone who doesn’t walk out without sunscreen, apply it all over and then apply the spray of insect repellant all over.
- Do not use the spray below your clothes directly on the skin
Use of Natural Insect Repellants
Some natural ingredients that you can use to prevent mosquitos from coming near you include Thyme oil, lavender, cinnamon oil, Greek catnip oil, tea tree oil, citronella, soybean oil, etc.
However, EPA does not support the use of these natural ingredients as they believe they are not completely beneficial when it comes to prevention from mosquito bites because many mosquitoes might have adapted to these certainly making them less effective. It is always better to use products that are referred by EPA that are mentioned above.
Treatment Of Gear And Clothing
- Clothing and gear like boots, socks, pants, and tents should be treated using 0.5% permethrin as it is a chemical or insecticide that has proven to be highly beneficial when it comes to treating or killing mosquitos carrying the Nile Virus.
- You may buy clothes that are already treated with this insecticide called permethrin as after many washes also it’s effect will not vanish.
- If you want to apply it to your clothes by yourself, you can purchase some quantity and do so by reading the instructions provided on the label carefully.
- Make sure you are not using the products having permethrin on your skin directly as that might be fatal.
Steps To Prevent Mosquitos Indoors And Outdoors
- Always use screens to cover your doors and windows.
- Look for holes in the screens and entirely cover them to prevent any chances of mosquitoes entering your house.
- Do not store water for too long as mosquitoes might lay eggs there. Stop mosquitoes from coming near the water or laying their eggs there.
- Every once in a while, empty all the containers that you use for storing water, turn them upside down and place them outside to dry.
Prevent Mosquito While Travelling
- If you are traveling overseas, make sure you take covered clothes everywhere with you and a mosquito net is mandatory.
- Before packing your clothes make sure to treat them with Permethrin
- Choose a hotel or rooms where all the windows are screened and contain an air conditioner inside.
- While choosing a mosquito net, choose a net that has a rectangular shape, white in color, compact, and has 156 holes per square inch.
Ways To Use Mosquito Net
You can hang the mosquito nets over the top or above your bed or crib. If you have a room that has a screening facility and air conditioners, you are sort of left with no worry but in case that is not available, sleeping under a mosquito net is always a brilliant way to tackle and prevent mosquitos from spreading Nile virus. For the net, read the instructions.
- Tuck the net under your mattress while sleeping to keep mosquitos out.
- If tucking seems troublesome, use a larger net that touches the floor while sleeping as it will not let mosquitos enter.
- Check for tears or holes in the net.
- Make sure to keep the net away from candles, cigarettes, or any material that can ignite the net, it can lead to fatal accidents.
- Do not touch the net or sleep closer to it as mosquitoes are still having chances to bite you through the holes.
Symptoms Of West Nile Virus
Talking about the symptoms related to the Nile virus, there could be three cases or bifurcations further while studying the symptoms. These are:
1. No Symptoms
Most people that are bitten by mosquitoes containing the Nile virus do not show any signs or symptoms of being affected. Not even the slightest of illness is seen in such people. You can say that 8 out of 10 people are clearly fit and fine even after carrying the virus inside of them.
2. Mild Symptoms
Mild symptoms include low feer or illness that can be cured easily within few days. About 1 person out of 5 people develops a mild fever and other related symptoms of Nile virus infection that include headaches, joint pains, body aches, diarrhea, vomiting, or rashes.
Most people who are infected in this manner take a few days or weeks to recover completely from this but fatigue and weakness that has been caused by the Nile virus may last for few weeks or a month.
3. Severe Symptoms
As mentioned above, 1 out of 150 people develop symptoms that are severe or fatal. When Nile virus affects such people it also tends to damage their CNS or central nervous system which includes Encephalitis which refers to inflammation caused by the brain and Meningitis which means inflammation in the membrane surrounding the spinal cord and other regions of the brain and can be proven to be very harmful when not paid attention in time.
Severe illness signs are very high fever, neck stiffness, the headache that is unstoppable, stupor, coma, disorientation, convulsions, tremors, loss of vision, weakness in muscles, paralysis, and numbness.
There is no defined age group for severe illness to occur in Nile virus infection, however, people above the age of 60 years are more susceptible to the above symptoms and are at greater risks. If anyone has diseases or disorders like cancer, hypertension, diabetes, kidney diseases, etc are also at greater risks. Also, someone that has previously gone through an organ transplant should be aware of risks associated if the developed Nile virus.
If we talk about recovery, you can expect a time period between weeks to months for proper recovery, however, the effect it did on the central nervous system may last for a longer duration or even a lifetime. It is important to know the complications. 1 in 10 people who have developed a serious illness that has affected the nervous system die.
Diagnosis Of West Nile Virus
If you believe anyone near you or yourself has any symptoms of the Nile virus always go for a diagnosis before it is too late.
- Visit any professional doctor to seek help for test results and diagnosis.
- Perform the tests again within few days after you have been declared in fine fettle.
Treatment Of Nile Virus
As mentioned previously there are no vaccines or medications to treat the Nile virus. However, you can use pain killers to reduce the pain, normal tablets that you use for headache, nausea, vomiting can be used for a short period of time to feel better.
In severe conditions, you need to take patients to hospitals in order to get the proper treatment that includes being on or using intravenous fluids, nursing care, and pain medications.
Consult your health care provider or doctors if you feel any signs of the Nile virus affection is there in you or any family members.
Transmission Of West Nile Virus
- The most common means of spreading of West Nile virus is through infected mosquito bites as told earlier. These mosquitos acquire the virus when they feed on infected organisms, mainly birds. After carrying this virus, when they feed on humans or other animals they release the Nile virus into their bloodstream.
- It may also transmit or spread through laboratories and research centers.
- It spreads through organ transplantation of infected people or blood transfusion.
- It spreads from mother to baby while the mother is pregnant or during the time of breastfeeding or delivery of the fetus.
- It does not spread through sneezing, coughing, or touching. Also eating infected birds will not spread this virus given that they are cooked at high temperatures where the virus cannot survive.
Relation Between Nile Virus and dead Birds
West Nile Virus has been seen and detected through various means in a huge number of bird species. Some birds that are infected through this Nile virus-like jays and crows often die after getting sick for a few days or hours.
If you spot a dead bird near your house or locality, always inform health care professionals as it may have died due to the Nile virus which means the mosquitos in your area carries that infection and you have to prevent it before it is too late.
This was all the information in detail that you need to know about the West Nile virus. To know and remain updated about new strains of coronavirus, visit the page.