This year, more than 1,000 cases of West Nile Virus have been reported in the U.S.— the most on record since the disease was first detected in the country more than a decade ago, according to Centers for Disease Control reports issued this week.
Virginia is one of the 47 states that have reported cases of , according to the CDC.
So far this year, two cases have been reported in Virginia — one of the neuroinvasive type and the other non-neuroinvasive — but no deaths. As of mid-August, the national total of West Nile Cases is at 1,118, according to the CDC.
Most people bitten by an infected mosquito show no symptoms of illness. However, some become sick three to 15 days after exposure. People 50 and older are more susceptible to severe disease symptoms.
Mosquitoes breed in small collections of stagnant water, are common around people’s homes and often bite people indoors. While few mosquitoes may be noticed outdoors, those that are present and biting are likely to be the type that potentially carry the virus.
Take the following steps to avoid West Nile Virus:
- Maintain window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes out of buildings.
- Empty water from mosquito breeding sites such as buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes lay eggs.
- Apply insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, or other EPA approved repellent to exposed skin or clothing, especially during peak mosquito activity periods such as dusk and dawn.
- Wear light colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors.
For more information about West Nile visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/index.htm.
Dexter Patch contributed to this report.