Have Your Yard Treated Now. August is the Month When West Nile Virus Reports in Humans is Most Prevalent.
When it comes to West Nile virus, when we hear of a reported case of it, it seems random and “out of the blue”. This actually isn’t the case, however. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Most people are infected (with West Nile virus) from June through September”. Here in Massachusetts, it’s almost like clockwork. During the month of August, usually towards the end of the month, is when we will hear of a confirmed case of West Nile in a person.
So, how do mosquitoes pick up the West Nile virus, you ask? Birds. West Nile virus is transmitted to birds through the bite of infected mosquitoes. Then, like a vicious, compounding cycle, mosquitoes become infected by biting infected birds. These birds include predators like hawks or owls or scavengers such as crows and vultures. Once this cycle has completed itself enough times, the more likelihood there is of coming into contact with a mosquito which is infected. Since 1999, outbreaks of West Nile have been occurring every single summer.
While we have been experiencing drought-like conditions throughout nearly all of Massachusetts and the mosquito population is slightly down due to this, it doesn’t mean we are mosquito free. In fact, one well-known carrier of West Nile virus is incredibly adept at thriving in these very drought-like conditions. The Culex pipiens mosquito is known for its ability to find water nearly anywhere, even when there doesn’t appear to be water available. The Culex is also well-known for its ability to contract and spread West Nile virus. Nature seems to always find a way.
The symptoms of West Nile virus are quite widespread and differ from person to person, but here’s a general breakdown provided by the (CDC):
- No symptoms in most people: Most people (70% – 80%) who become infected with West Nile virus do not develop any symptoms.
- Febrile illness in some people:About 1 in 5 people who are infected will develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Most people with this type of West Nile disease recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or even months.
- Severe symptoms in a few people:Less than 1% of people who are infected will develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues). The symptoms of neurologic illness can include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures, or paralysis.
Recovery from severe disease may take several weeks or months. Some of the neurologic effects may be permanent. About 10 percent of people who develop neurologic infection due to West Nile virus will die.
Unfortunately, there’s no West Nile vaccine available. The best method of keeping from getting infected by disease carrying mosquitoes is through simple prevention. Utilize mosquito sprays which contain DEET, and always follow the “T’s of Mosquito Control”. Of all the T’s, treating your yard is one of the most effective. A professional, fully licensed mosquito control company, such as Mosquito Squad of Boston Metro South, can keep your yard’s mosquito population down by up to 90%.
To find out why Mosquito Squad of Boston Metro South is the number one mosquito control company in Weymouth, MA and surrounding areas, call us today at (781) 297-0123, email us at [email protected] or fill out the form below. We look forward to hearing from you soon!