The only difference between adventure and disaster is preparedness.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

West Nile Virus

Mmmm...West Nile Virus.  Sounds kinda foreign and sexy, right?  Maybe not, but it is something that has been making its way into the US over the past 10 years and now there are two confirmed cases in Oregon.  The virus is carried by mosquitoes.

Most infections are mild, but Oregon health officials say the virus can cause severe symptoms such as encephalitis. It is rarely fatal.

Nationally, health officials said last week that this year's outbreak is one of the largest. Mosquito populations have had favorable weather — a mild winter, early spring and hot summer.

"Having tracked West Nile cases for many years now, we know that the number of cases typically peaks by Labor Day weekend," said Emilio DeBess, an Oregon Health Authority veterinarian.

"There are simple things people can do to protect themselves."  Oregon authorities recommend steps to ward off mosquitoes like eliminating standing water, wearing long sleeves and pants in infested areas, making sure screen doors and windows fit tightly and using repellents at dawn and dusk.

For more information on West Nile Virus and ways to protect yourself, check out Cowlitz County's Mosquito Control District webpage here:

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