The Doctor Is In: The West Nile Virus, precautions advised - The Explorer: The Doctor Is In

The Doctor Is In: The West Nile Virus, precautions advised

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Mauricio Valencia, M.D.

Posted: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 4:00 am

News of the West Nile virus’ rampant spread across the U.S. has dominated the media in recent weeks. During 2012, 48 states have reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds or mosquitoes and 1,118 cases of West Nile virus disease in people – including 41 deaths – have been reported to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDC officials have announced that the United States is on track for the worst outbreak of West Nile in the 13 years that the virus has been present in the country. In Arizona, 25 total cases have been reported.

The West Nile virus (WNV) belongs to a group of viruses known as flaviviruses, commonly found in Africa, West Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Flaviviruses are spread by insects, most often mosquitoes. The virus can infect humans, birds, mosquitoes, horses, and other mammals. Since its first appearance in the Western Hemisphere in 1999, WNV has been classified as an emerging infectious disease in the U.S., as it has spread down the East Coast and to many Southern and Midwestern states. WNV occurs in late summer and early fall in temperate zones, but can occur year-round in southern climates.

Symptoms

According to the CDC, WNV infection in humans is rare. Approximately 20 percent of the people who become infected will develop symptoms of WNV. The onset is characterized by mild, flu-like symptoms that usually appear within 3 to 14 days of infection. Common symptoms of WNV include fever, headache, body aches, skin rash on trunk of body, and swollen lymph glands.

A more severe form of the WNV (West Nile encephalitis, West Nile meningitis, or West Nile meningoencephalitis), occurs when the virus crosses the blood-brain barrier. This condition develops in 1 out of every 150 cases. Symptoms may include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, extreme lethargy, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis.

Because the symptoms of WNV may resemble other conditions or medical problems, always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.

The Spread

WNV is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected female mosquito. The mosquitoes acquire the virus through biting infected birds. According to the CDC, WNV is not directly transmitted between humans.

Treatment

Specific treatment is determined by an individual’s doctor based on age, health history, extent of the disease, and tolerance for specific medications or therapies. People who develop the more severe form of the disease (West Nile encephalitis or meningitis), may require more aggressive treatment: hospitalization, intravenous fluids, respiratory support (ventilator), prevention of secondary infections (such as pneumonia, urinary tract infections, etc.), and nursing care.

Prevention

No vaccine currently exists to prevent West Nile virus in humans. The CDC recommends taking the following steps to avoid mosquito bites and WNV:

Apply insect repellent containing DEET when you’re outdoors. According to the CDC, repellents containing a higher concentration of active ingredient (such as DEET) provide longer-lasting protection.

(Editor’s Note: Mauricio Valencia, M.D. practices with Northwest Allied Physicians and can be reached at 202-1585.)

© 2014 The Explorer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Welcome to the discussion.

1 comment:

  • Worldsavior posted at 12:52 pm on Wed, Nov 21, 2012.

    Worldsavior Posts: 1

    Hi Everyone,

    Please know, West Nile virus infection is not only curable, but 100% avoidable. Everybody can avoid it, even if bitten many times by WNV infected mosquitoes. No antiviral vaccines or therapies are needed any more. Kids and adults can rest assured. West Nile and any other killer viruses on Earth (Colds, Flus, AIDS, Dengue, Yosemite, etc.) can be destroyed very easy and people can live their lives as if no viruses of any kind even exist...

    I got the power to save the world from the West Nile and any other killer viruses spread (Causing Epidemics and Pandemics worldwide)... A discovery guarantees what has been dreamed of for more than 200,000 years of humankind on the planet - to possess the Iron Constitution all the time, all your life...

    I call it Immunizer - just a simple exercise, but The Complete Colds/Flus/AIDS/West Nile/Yosemite/Cancers Prevention - normally done for a minute a day for kids and adults as the full prevention of the major plagues of civilization. If done for 2 - 3 minutes a day, the immunizer will guarantee a very fast recovery for those infected by Colds, Flus, AIDS, West Nile, Yosemite, Any other killer viruses and from any types of Cancer...

    Doing it, I stay healthy all the time. For me Cold and Flu Season does not exist. I cannot catch Cold, or the Flu. No way... I wear my summer tees and shorts all the time, even at air temperature of -15C (5F). I guess nobody else on Earth can walk at this winter air temperature clad in summer clothes... (Having ditched the scarves and parkas forever)... I feel like Iron Man, for I got the Iron Constitution...

    Guaranteeing everybody on Earth the Iron Constitution, the immunizer guarantees a considerable Life Extension... Once your body does not have to fight viruses...

    I will disclose my Dream Immunizer (The Deadliest on Earth, The T-Rex Virus Killer and Cancers Preventer and Healer) to everybody in the world, if I am paid 200 Billion US Dollars (or BP) and all of us - kids and adults - will stay absolutely healthy all the time, all our lives, even if we are directly exposed to any possibly existing viruses and cancers on Earth - mutant, deadly and all the like. No killer viruses on Earth got any chance against the tremendous power of the immunizer - they just die the moment they touch you...

     

Kino College

Kino CollegeEnroll today: http://www.kinocollege.com/

Wednesday 09/03/2014

Six steps to a shorter hospital stay 

Wednesday 08/21/2013

The Doctor Is In: Give your baby a healthy start

Wednesday 07/17/2013

The Doctor Is In: Feeling Restless? It might not be “in your head”

Wednesday 06/05/2013

The Doctor Is In: Start early to prevent heart disease

Wednesday 05/01/2013

The Doctor Is In: It’s never too late to start taking care of your bones and joints

Wednesday 03/20/2013

The Doctor Is In: Colorectral cancer: Screening is the key

Wednesday 03/06/2013

The Doctor Is In: Diagnosing your heart health

Friday 02/22/2013

The Dentist is in: The work to make smiles brighter

Wednesday 01/23/2013

The Doctor Is In: Understanding food allergies in an active lifestyle

Wednesday 01/16/2013

The Dentist Is In: Why do I have bad breath? The Doctor Is In: The connection between psoriasis and arthritis

Wednesday 12/26/2012

The Doctor is In - Steps to overcoming infertility

Wednesday 12/19/2012

The Dentist Is In: The connection between the health of your mouth and the health of your body

Wednesday 11/21/2012

The Dentist Is In: A broken tooth can ruin any good meal The Doctor Is In: ’Tis the Season - How to keep off the extra pounds

Wednesday 11/14/2012

The Doctor Is In: Endometriosis: The pain is treatable if the disease is correctly diagnosed

Tuesday 11/06/2012

The Doctor Is In: Play it smart - Sports physicals can save lives

Wednesday 10/31/2012

The Doctor Is In: Advice: Breast cancer screening saves lives

Wednesday 10/10/2012

The Doctor is in: Dementia: Alzheimer’s or something else?

Wednesday 09/19/2012

The Doctor Is In: The West Nile Virus, precautions advised

Wednesday 09/05/2012

The Doctor Is In: Arthritis can strike any age

Wednesday 08/29/2012

The Doctor is in: Controlling varicose veins

Tuesday 08/14/2012

The Doctor Is In - Chronic stress can lead to chronic health conditions

Wednesday 08/08/2012

The Doctor Is In: COPD - It is preventable

Wednesday 08/01/2012

The Doctor Is In: Weight-loss surgery sheds pounds, improves health

Wednesday 07/25/2012

The Doctor is In: What to do when the wounds just won’t heal

Wednesday 07/18/2012

The doctor is in: Sleep: Good health is related to quality and quantity of slumber

Wednesday 06/27/2012

The Doctor Is In: Women living with endometriosis

Wednesday 06/13/2012

The Doctor Is In: Arthritis: Common types and treatments

Wednesday 06/06/2012

The Doctor Is In: Summer safety is important

Wednesday 05/09/2012

The Doctor Is In - How to understand your food allergies

Wednesday 05/02/2012

The Doctor Is In - Preventing cancer starts with the annual Pap test

Wednesday 04/11/2012

The Doctor Is In - How to help your kids avoid Type 2 Diabetes

Wednesday 04/04/2012

The Doctor is in: Leg pain signals heart trouble

Wednesday 03/14/2012

The Doctor Is In - Hit the hay for heart health

Wednesday 03/07/2012

The Doctor Is In: Getting headaches regularly? Is it time to see a doctor?

Wednesday 02/29/2012

The Doctor Is In - ADHD - Can the disorder be treated without medication?

Wednesday 02/22/2012

The Doctor Is In - Vitamin C: What it does, why you need it, where to find it

Wednesday 02/08/2012

The Doctor Is In - Depression: Don’t dismiss the blues

Wednesday 01/04/2012

The Doctor is In - Prediabetes: Obesity and diabetes share common risks and solutions

Wednesday 12/28/2011

The Doctor is In: Cold or allergy? How to tell the difference

Wednesday 12/21/2011

The Doctor is In: Steering kids away from salt

Wednesday 12/14/2011

The Doctor is In - Information on Childhood obesity

Friday 12/02/2011

The Doctor Is In - Don’t Be Down for the Count this Year: Cold and Flu Facts
Spacer4px

Follow us on Facebook

Online poll

Loading…