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West Nile Virus is an Annual Threat in Vero Beach and all of the Space Coast

Did you know mosquitoes are the deadliest animal on Earth?

They carry dangerous diseases which kill hundreds of thousands of people worldwide each year. While the deadliest diseases like Malaria are not currently a local threat, there are mosquito-borne diseases that threaten Vero Beach every year. Chikungunya, Eastern Equine, St. Louis encephalitis, and Zika are just a few mosquito-borne diseases we can see here. West Nile Virus in Vero Beach while still rare, is one of the more likely mosquito-borne diseases threatening our area. So, what do you need to know to lower your risks for West Nile Virus?

West Nile Virus in Florida

The threat of West Nile Virus (WNV) varies year to year. The Florida Department of Health monitors WNV and other arboviruses in mosquitoes, humans, and other animals. Should positive test results spike, they can then warn the public to be extra vigilant with their Vero Beach mosquito control methods.

The Florida Department of Heatlh measured six human cases of West Nile Virus in 2016. In 2014 and 2015 there were about 12 neuroinvasive cases of West Nile Virus in Florida and less than six cases of WNV illness, but the CDC reported a high of 94 cases in 2003 and 73 in 2012. Each year the threat of West Nile Virus can vary dramatically. At Mosquito Squad of Melbourne-Port St. Lucie, we will keep watch on the numbers to help keep you informed.

What is West Nile Virus?

West Nile Virus (WNV) is a disease transmitted to humans and other mammals by the bite of an infected mosquito. The virus is common in birds, who often pass the virus to the mosquitoes, beginning a cycle between birds and mosquitoes that can spread rapidly through both populations. Once the virus reaches a threshold in the bird and mosquito population it becomes more likely that a mosquito will transmit the disease to a human or another mammal. While birds can infect mosquitoes, mammals are a ‘dead end’ vector, meaning mosquitoes do not get WNV from infected mammals.

Symptoms of West Nile Virus

According to the CDC, only about 20-30% of people infected with West Nile Virus will even develop symptoms at all.

About 20% of those infected with West Nile Virus will develop a febrile illness, which will present similarly to the flu. Symptoms can include headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, and a rash.

Neurological illnesses such as encephalitis or meningitis can occur in less than 1% of people infected with West Nile Virus. Neurological West Nile Virus symptoms can include a headache, high fever, stiff neck, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures, or paralysis. Serious illness can happen to anyone, but the greatest risk for neurological illness from West Nile Virus is in people 60 or over, or with certain medical conditions such as diabetes, cancer, kidney disease, hypertension, or recent organ transplant recipients.

About 10% of people with neuroinvasive West Nile Virus will die.

West Nile Virus Prevention

Preventing mosquito bites is still the best way to lower your risk for West Nile Virus in Vero Beach. With an almost year-round mosquito season, it is vital to protect yourself when outdoors so you can take full advantage of all the activities the Space Coast has to offer. When outdoors enjoying untreated areas such as parks and beaches, use mosquito repellent on all exposed skin. At home, enjoy a care-free outdoor lifestyle by using Mosquito Squad’s mosquito barrier treatment on your property. We’ll eliminate 85-90% of mosquitoes from your yard, treating every three weeks to keep the mosquitoes away.

Call today (772) 210-4210

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