News Stories

West Nile Virus Reported in SWFL

6:08 PM, Sep 06, 2018


Michael Adam Mora

A woman in Charlotte County was infected by West Nile virus from a mosquito bite, according to officials.

Mosquitoes get West Nile virus from animals like chickens or any bird in your backyard. Once the female mosquito has contracted West Nile virus, it will go about its day, buzzing around in no particular direction.

Soon, it will inconspicuously flutter onto a person's body, whose perspiration scent they find enticing. It will stick its long, tubular mouthparts into the person's skin, carefully observing the human with its hundred of eyes. As it sucks on the blood of the man or the woman, it simultaneously injects saliva that has been tainted by the West Nile Virus.

The human immune system will always spring into action following a mosquito bite. Internally it will combat the bite. Externally, the victim will see a red bump at the mosquito's extraction point.

How Do I Know If I Have West Nile Virus?

West Nile is a virus that spreads in North America during the mosquito season. The mosquito season usually begins in the summer and ends towards the latter part of fall.

The Florida Department of Health said that eight people in Florida have been infected by the West Nile virus.

West Nile virus does not always show the usual appearance of being bitten by a bug, such as a small red bump on the arm, making it important for victims to be aware of side effects.

Telltale signs that you have been infected with West Nile Virus include sudden fevers, painful headaches, aggravating body aches and swollen lymph nodes. About 1 in 5 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will exhibit symptoms.

In severe cases the symptoms are worse, leading to serious illnesses and possibly death, in about one out of 150 people who are infected with the West Nile virus.

You can't prevent the virus. But there are strategies to lessen the risk of being infected.

These include using insect repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, treat clothing and gear, and take steps to control mosquitoes indoors and outdoors. If you're traveling make sure to follow these same tips overseas.