Texas has seen a large increase in people infected with the West Nile Virus and Cell Phone Sally wants to help keep you protected. West Nile is a mosquito-borne illness that can cause serious illness or death, especially for those over 50 years old or with weakened immune systems.
Texas officials declared a state of emergency last week when the virus broke out, specifically in the Dallas area. With this declaration, they were able to get access to emergency state funds in order to help control the outbreak. While officials are doing their part to keep citizens safe, there are still things you can do at home to keep from contacting West Nile Virus.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, your best defense is to practice the “Four Ds”:
1. Make sure to use insect repellent containing “DEET”, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
2. Dress in long sleeved shirts and pants whenever you are outside.
3. Refrain from going outside at Dawn and Dusk because this is the time when mosquitoes are most active.
4. Drain standing water where mosquitoes breed. Some common breeding sites include old tires, flowerpots and clogged rain gutters.
Symptoms of those infected with West Nile Virus include headache, fatigue, rashes and swollen lymph glands. The illness can last a few days to several weeks. Most people infected by West Nile do not show any symptoms. But in about 20% of cases, symptoms do appear and usually between three and 14 days after the bite. If you think you could potentially be infected, do not hesitate to get medical attention.
Watch this video from SORM: http://www.sorm.state.tx.us/Media/psa/WestNileVirus.php