West Nile Virus is most commonly transmitted by mosquitos to humans, birds, horses, and some other mammals. The most severe diseases caused by the West Nile virus are:
• West Nile Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain)
• West Nile Meningitis (inflammation of the membrane around the brain and the spinal cord)
• West Nile Meningoencephalitis (inflammation of the brain and the membrane surrounding it)
West Nile Fever is another type of illness that can occur in people who become infected with the virus. It is characterized by fever, headache, tiredness, aches, and sometimes rash. Although the illness can be as short as a few days, even healthy people have been sick for several weeks (CDC).
The best and most effective way to protect your children from the disease is to prevent mosquitoes from biting. Protect yourself and your children from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most likely to bite. Use a mosquito repellant containing DEET. For children from two months to 12 years, use repellents containing up to 10% DEET. Do not put DEET on children’s hand or feet. Do not use DEET for children under two months. For more specific information on insect repellents, visit http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/qa/insect_repellent.htm. For extra protection, wear long sleeved shirts and long pants (CDC).
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