What You Need to Know About West Nile Virus Transmission
Is West Nile virus contagious? How is this mosquito-borne disease spread? With mosquito season in full swing, you may be thinking about the risk of West Nile virus and what you can do to keep your family protected. If you are concerned about West Nile virus transmission from person to person, you will be relieved to know that the World Health Organization (WHO) reports no known human-to-human transmissions of the virus through casual contact.
Still concerned? The experts at Mosquito Joe dig a little deeper into the facts about West Nile virus transmission and the steps you can take for virus prevention.
West Nile Virus Transmission Facts
Birds are the natural hosts of West Nile virus, and the virus proliferates in nature through a lifecycle that involves transmission between birds and mosquitoes. Mosquitoes pick up the virus when they feed on an infected bird and the virus is stored in the mosquito’s salivary glands. Infected mosquitoes can then pass the virus to mammals, including humans, when they bite, injecting the host with the virus.
People most at risk for contracting West Nile are those who work outside or participate in outdoor activities. . anyone who lives in an area where West Nile virus has been identified in mosquitoes is at risk.
West Nile Virus Symptoms
According to WHO, 80% of people who become infected with the virus do not experience symptoms. However, in the worst cases, it can lead to a fatal neurological disease. Approximately 20% of infected people develop West Nile fever, which can include the following symptoms:
- Body Aches
- Nausea or vomiting
- Skin rash
- Swollen lymph nodes
Symptoms typically begin to show two to six days after being bitten by an infected mosquito, although it can take up to two weeks. Most people who develop symptoms will make a complete recovery, but residual fatigue and weakness can last several weeks following the infection.
West Nile Virus Prevention
Because there are no medications or vaccines to treat West Nile virus, protecting against mosquito bites is the best plan for prevention.
Here are tips for limiting unwanted encounters with mosquitoes when you or your family members are outside:
- Apply insect repellent anytime you plan to go outside. Repellent products containing DEET and picaridin are effective and provide longer-lasting protection from bites. Insect repellents containing coconut oil compounds are effective botanical alternatives.
- Wear long sleeves and pants.
- Avoid going outside during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most prevalent.
- Decrease the number of mosquitoes around your property by emptying standing water from containers and ensuring the yard does not have piles of leaves or debris.
- Consider the professional application of yard treatments specifically designed to keep mosquitoes and other pests off your property.
Achieve an Itch-Free Yard with Mosquito Joe
A highly effective way to protect your yard from mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus is to have outdoor pest control experts like Mosquito Joe apply recurring barrier treatments to your property. Regular treatments will eliminate mosquitoes and other pests like ticks and fleas for up to three weeks at a time. Your local Mosquito Joe team has the tools and solutions to make your outdoor space fun again so you and your family can enjoy bite-free time in your yard this year.
Worried about other viruses that might make their way into your life? Consider these tips from Molly Maid for how to stop spreading germs at work. Molly Maid is a fellow member of the Neighborly® family of home service brands.