Friday, September 24, 2010

West Nile Virus Is Here (and There and Everywhere)

Photo by Tanakawho
Although West Nile virus is usually a mild illness, it can become a serious, life-threatening illness. We wanted to share this story from the Chevy Chase listserv about what happened to one area resident. No good ever comes from mosquitoes. The Centers for Disease Control has useful information on how to reduce the number of mosquitoes in your neck of the woods. You might also want to read these tips to prevent mosquito bites from a previous article on All Life Is Local.

I just visited a friend of many decades in Adventist Hospital who a couple of days ago was a robust remarkable 76 year old. Three days ago or so, he awoke to uncontrollable shivering and very cold. He was rushed to the hospital. What I saw today is the direct result of West Nile Virus at its full blown self.
He is on a ventilator being tube fed in a comatose, non-responsive state resulting from a mosquito bite we assume was from a group of dead birds in his neighbor's yard which lay there unreported for some time.
West Nile virus is here, as a permanent addition to North America. It's no longer a top priority of some health departments, including the the District of Columbia's Department of Health, whose website no longer features West Nile on the main page, and which even has many broken links on its West Nile virus page. West Nile virus was first isolated in Uganda in 1937 and appeared in America in New York City in 1999.

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