West Nile Virus: Know the Signs and Symptoms

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Normal West Nile Virus: Know the Signs and Symptoms

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:08 pm

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By LIZ NEPORENT
Aug. 17, 2012

Dallas County, Texas, has been hit hard by West Nile, a potentially fatal mosquito-borne infection. This summer health officials have recorded 465 cases and 17 deaths, on pace for the worst year ever for West Nile.

And north Texas isn't the only place reporting a spike in West Nile cases. The United States is experiencing the biggest outbreak in West Nile virus since 2004, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Officials say it's difficult to get accurate numbers on West Nile infections because approximately 80 percent of people with West Nile virus have no idea they have it. Most never develop any symptoms.

According to CDC, up to 20 percent of infected people develop West Nile fever and exhibit mild symptoms including fever, headache, muscle weakness, nausea and vomiting. They might also develop swollen lymph glands and a rash on the chest, back or stomach.

"Most of the time, the symptoms are nonspecific and may last for a few days or a few weeks," Dr. William Shaffner, chair of the department of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University, says. "Someone may just feel poorly and never associate it with West Nile."

Only about 1 percent are hit with a more serious form of the infection, West Nile encephalitis, characterized by high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. Illness may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.

Shaffner says people 65 and older are at greatest risk for contracting the more serious forms of the illness. Signs and symptoms typically develop between 3 and 14 days after someone is bitten by an infected mosquito.

West Nile Virus has no cure. You can only treat the symptoms and hope it goes away.


The best defense is prevention. The CDC offers the following tips to protect yourself:

Drain standing pools of dirty water that can collect in stagnant ponds, old tires and even empty soda bottles; this is where mosquitoes breed and lay their eggs.

Stay indoors during dawn and dusk hours when mosquitoes are most active.

To protect yourself indoors, make sure door and window screens are tight-fitting and in good repair.

To protect yourself outdoors, wear long sleeves, long pants and socks to cover as much of your body as possible and apply bug repellent.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness/west-nile-virus-signs-symptoms/story?id=17027010#.UDARnd2PXeI

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Normal Re: West Nile Virus: Know the Signs and Symptoms

Post by TerryRose on Sat Aug 18, 2012 6:41 pm

We have over 2 dozen cases in our area also. Unfortunately people forget how risky it may be to be bitten by a mosquito from summer to summer. We all grew up heavily bitten up by those critters and thought it just an annoyance, now we have to remember that this is potentially far more serious than we could have ever imagined it would be years ago. Thank you for posting this Wrap. It is a good reminder to us to take precautions. Please stay safe yourself also since, from the national news, I have learned that Texas is being hit hard by this.
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Normal Re: West Nile Virus: Know the Signs and Symptoms

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Aug 18, 2012 7:28 pm

yes, we are. I fear for Reid who gets bitten so easily and gets welts even after being outside less than 5 min.

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Normal Re: West Nile Virus: Know the Signs and Symptoms

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:07 pm



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Normal Re: West Nile Virus: Know the Signs and Symptoms

Post by TerryRose on Sun Aug 19, 2012 1:49 pm

Good report, Wrap. We can all learn something about this terrible disease from this. Thank you for posting this.
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Normal Re: West Nile Virus: Know the Signs and Symptoms

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:53 pm

Your welcome. We have had tons of rain. Especially last night. I just walked outside to smoke and got zapped. I have noticed though, since I have this blood disorder that they don't like me as much. :cheering:

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Normal Re: West Nile Virus: Know the Signs and Symptoms

Post by Slys Hunny on Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:23 pm

I have a friend that contracted west nile 5 or 6 yrs ago and he still feels the effects of it.
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Normal Re: West Nile Virus: Know the Signs and Symptoms

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:07 pm

What effects does he still feel?

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Normal Re: West Nile Virus: Know the Signs and Symptoms

Post by Slys Hunny on Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:25 am

Muscle weekness is what he complains about the most but he also gets virtigo frequently.
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Normal Re: West Nile Virus: Know the Signs and Symptoms

Post by raine1953 on Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:51 pm

Can one put on bug repellent so they don't get bit? I'm pretty dumb on mosquitos since I don't get bit (fleas love me instead). I've been hearing about this on our news here and how TX is the hardest hit so far this year but the rest of the US is being hit too. Those sprays scare me too since they're poison but what do you do? confused
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Normal Re: West Nile Virus: Know the Signs and Symptoms

Post by Slys Hunny on Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:37 pm

I dont know if it works but ive been told you can tuck fabric softener sheets in your clothes and mosquitos wont bite??? Ive also heard they prefrer dark clothing as opposed to light
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Normal Re: West Nile Virus: Know the Signs and Symptoms

Post by Wrapitup on Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:53 pm

http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/resources/wnv_flyer.pdf

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Normal Re: West Nile Virus: Know the Signs and Symptoms

Post by Wrapitup on Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:06 pm

Few options in the West Nile fight

Last week, officials in Dallas County in Texas began spraying insecticide from airplanes to curb the worst outbreak of West Nile virus that Dallas has ever seen. With no options for treating or preventing the disease, officials hope to prevent more people from contracting the potentially fatal illness, which is transmitted through mosquito bites.

Almost half of all West Nile human infections are in Texas this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Given that it is still early in the outbreak season, this year could be one of the worst on record in the United States. "Last year, there were 700 cases [total], and right now we are already pushing 700, and it's only coming into end of August," says John Roehrig, a microbiologist with the CDC's Division of Vector-Borne Diseases.

Most human infections have no symptoms and go unnoticed and unreported. But about 20 percent of people infected develop flu-like symptoms that can last for days or weeks, according to the CDC. About one out of every 150 people infected will develop neurological effects such as confusion, convulsions, and paralysis, which may become permanent.

But the unpredictable nature of the outbreaks makes testing potential treatments difficult. Scientists can't accurately predict where the most intense outbreaks will be each year, so drug developers have a hard time setting up trials to test their therapeutics. "It's very difficult to get the clinical trials done in a way that is defined by federal regulation," says John Morrey, director of the Institute for Antiviral Research at Utah State University. "If you have a disease that is sporadic or you can't predict it, or there are not a lot of people admitted to the clinical center, you just can't do the clinical trial."

Such was the fate of a treatment that Morrey had been developing with a Rockland, Maryland, biotech company called Macrogenics, which develops antibody-based therapeutics for cancer, infectious diseases, and autoimmune disorders. With National Institutes of Health support, the company had launched a study of the safety and efficacy of an antibody that specifically recognizes the West Nile virus. The team set up trial sites in areas where cases had occurred frequently in past years, but was not able to enroll enough patients to properly test the drug.

With no treatment available, vaccine designers cannot set up controlled trials in which participants would receive either the vaccine or a placebo and then be subjected to the virus. "West Nile is too dangerous," says Elliot Parks, CEO and president of Hawaii Biotech, a Honolulu-area company developing a vaccine for the disease.

http://www.whptv.com/news/local/story/Few-options-in-the-West-Nile-fight/bhrPSr7o40KNc2lWX-c-Fw.cspx

Makes me not even want to go outside.

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Normal Re: West Nile Virus: Know the Signs and Symptoms

Post by Wrapitup on Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:10 pm

Slys Hunny wrote:I dont know if it works but ive been told you can tuck fabric softener sheets in your clothes and mosquitos wont bite??? Ive also heard they prefrer dark clothing as opposed to light
I've heard that, too and tried it. I don't know if it worked cause only one did NOT do the trick.

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Normal West Nile cases slow to be diagnosed

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Sep 22, 2012 1:23 pm

By Jody Serrano
Published: 11:19 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012

Even as the West Nile virus has become widespread this summer with more cases reported in Texas and the U.S. than ever before the disease continues to sneak up on its victims, who often go undiagnosed for days after experiencing symptoms.

Austin resident Melissa Carter said she lay on her hospital bed for six days and was treated for two different illnesses before doctors determined she had the neuroinvasive form of the West Nile virus, the most dangerous type. It affects about 1 in 150 people who contract the virus.

Carter, 25, said doctors conducted every test imaginable, first diagnosing her with a one-time onset of vertigo. She said they also thought she had bacterial meningitis, a condition that can lead to brain damage and death.

Diagnosing the mosquitoborne West Nile virus can be difficult because it has flulike symptoms and a positive ID requires a blood test, health officials said.

"I never took it very seriously and didn't understand the severity," said Carter, who fell ill in New Jersey and came back to Texas to recover. "But there were times when we weren't really sure if I was going to make it."

She said she felt dizzy and weak for about four days and went to the hospital when she began vomiting and experienced trouble breathing.

The neuroinvasive form can cause permanent neurological damage, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms include neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma and convulsions.

The number of confirmed West Nile cases in Travis County is still increasing, standing at 102 on Thursday, said Carole Barasch, spokeswoman for the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department. But she said fewer cases are expected as mosquito populations taper off with cooler temperatures.

Since Sept. 14, there have been 38 West Nile neuroinvasive cases in the county and 44 hospitalizations, according to the department's most recent status report.

On Thursday, there were 1,375 cases of West Nile virus in Texas, with 61 deaths, said Carrie Williams, spokeswoman for the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Williams said a number of steps occur before a patient is diagnosed.

"It takes days for symptoms to appear," she said. "It takes time to go to the doctor ... and have the disease confirmed."

The time between the onset of symptoms and a diagnosis can be as little as two days or more than a week, officials said.

Jack Bissett, an infectious disease specialist in Austin, said a diagnosis largely depends on where a patient receives care and what tests the doctor orders. Bissett said he has seen up to eight cases of West Nile in the city, and some were initially diagnosed with other illnesses.

Carter said receiving the diagnosis sooner would have cut her hospital time and bill, about $15,000. Her only treatment was resting and taking Tylenol.


Contact Jody Serrano at 445-3851

Facts about west nile virus

■ About 80 percent of infected people do not fall ill. Others will experience symptoms within three to 14 days of a bite.

■ Symptoms include fever, headache, tiredness, body aches and possibly a skin rash and swollen lymph glands. The illness can last a few days or weeks. Some people have lasting effects.

■ The more severe neuroinvasive form can result in hospitalization and even death. Symptoms include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis.

■There is no treatment. Hospitalized patients get fluids and other medical support.

■ Higher-risk groups include people over 50 and people with compromised immune systems.

Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

http://www.statesman.com/news/local/west-nile-cases-slow-to-be-diagnosed-2464839.html?cxtype=ynews_rss

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