West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus is a mosquitoes transmitted.

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West Nile Virus

A mosquito transmits this virus after becoming infected by feeding on the blood of birds which carry the virus. The virus is then stored in the mosquito’s salivary glands and transmitted to humans and other incidental hosts when the mosquito takes a blood meal.

The virus has been detected in many wild bird species. Humans, horses, and most other mammals are generally considered incidental or dead-end hosts, as they are not known to develop a high enough viral load to either transmit, or become a reservoir for West Nile virus. The West Nile virus (WNV) was first detected in the Western Hemisphere in 1999 and has since rapidly spread across the North American continent into all 48 continental states, seven Canadian provinces, and throughout Mexico.

Statistically, a person’s risk of contracting West Nile is low, and less than 1% of those infected develop serious illness. Elderly and individuals with weak immune systems are at highest risk for serious illness. However, people of all ages can develop serious illness. There are three ways you can reduce your risk of becoming sick: Avoid Mosquito Bites, Mosquito-Proof Your Home, Help Your Community by Reporting Dead Birds. It is important for everyone to protect themselves from mosquito bites to minimize the risk of infection.

Other sources of information for these topics.

CDC West Nile Virus Homepage
The West Nile Virus Home Page of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an agency of the US government.

West Nile Virus
Provides data, information, and maps related to outbreaks of the West Nile virus and mosquito-borne encephalitis in the United States.

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