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National News

Tuesday, 11 September, 2007 10:42 PM

West Nile Virus on the Rise - Dengue Fever in U.S.

Memorial Day and the 4th of July are over and the battle of the bugs is in full swing, or should we say… swat. By now, people are frequenting the outdoors regularly for everything from BBQ's to gardening, hiking and camping. However, these days bugs are not simply annoying, but potentially dangerous with the potential to carry serious diseases such as West Nile Virus, Lyme disease or even Dengue fever. No longer are these illnesses a threat to those living or traveling throughout Asia and Africa – they are here in the United States.

According to a recent New York Times article, cases of West Nile virus in 2007 are already four times what they were one year ago, pointing to what could be a serious epidemic as most cases occur in August and September. Good Morning America recently reported that 1.3 million Americans have been infected with the West Nile virus since 1999. Only one in five infected individuals show symptoms, but one out of every 150 people infected develop serious disease. There were 4,269 cases of West Nile virus reported to the CDC in 2006, including 177 deaths.

Also alarming are the latest reports of dengue fever raging across Asia, and described as the worst outbreak of the mosquito borne virus in a decade. Cases of dengue fever have also been detected within the United States with doctors and healthcare workers being warned to stay on the lookout for patients with symptoms of the disease, primarily in southern Texas.

Increasing international travel, climate change, environmental degradation and changing human migration patterns have all contributed to shifting patterns of insect-borne disease in the United States and abroad. Some scientists predict a resurgence of tropical diseases such as malaria in zones where the disease had been eradicated such as the southern United States. As the emergence of West Nile Virus in the United States has demonstrated, infectious and vector-borne diseases know no borders and we should be vigilant about protecting ourselves from these potentially deadly diseases.

Insect-Borne Disease Symptoms & Prevention Techniques

What are the Symptoms of West Nile Virus?
*Severe symptoms can include high fever, strong headache, nausea and vomiting, neck stiffness and muscle aches, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, vision loss, numbness and paralysis

*No Symptoms in Most People. Approximately 80 percent of people (about 4 out of 5) who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all.

What are the Symptoms of Dengue Fever?
High fever, severe headache, joint and muscle pain, nausea, and rash. If there is a rash, it appears 3-5 days after the on-set of the fever – usually in the torso area then spreading to arms, legs, and face.

Prevention Techniques
1.) Reduce the number of mosquito bites you get by wearing insect repellent apparel such as Buzz Off Insect Shield (www.buzzoff.com), and by using topical insect repellents when outdoors.

2.) Protect yourself from dusk to dawn – the prime mosquito biting hours.

3.) Reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home by eliminating standing water which acts as a breeding ground for mosquitoes. (flower pots, children's pools, watering cans, gutters etc.)

4.) Secure window and door screens.

If you're not already aware, Buzz Off Insect Shield clothing repels mosquitoes, ticks, ants, flies, chiggers, and midges (no-see-ums.) This includes insects with the potential to carry diseases such as Malaria, West Nile virus, Dengue fever and Lyme disease.

This form of insect protection is convenient, invisible, odorless, and as easy as putting on your clothes. Unlike traditional topical repellents Buzz Off products cannot be misused or over-applied. A variety of shirts, pants, and accessories can be purchased from Buzz Off's brand partners such as ExOfficio, LL Bean, and Orvis.

Source: Buzzoff.com

 

 

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Unauthorized duplication or use of Text, Site Template, Graphics and or Site Design is Prohibited by Federal and International laws. See our Notice/Disclaimer.

 

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