URGENT: Fatal Third-World Disease
Arrives in U.S. 429 Dead
West Nile virus cases in the continental United States in 2012. (Aug. 28, 2012)
This virus was originally found only in such impoverished West African nations as Uganda, the Congo, and Sudan. From there it jumped to Egypt and India. In 2012, it reached the U.S.
West Nile cases have been reported in recent years within every state in the continental U.S.
You need to know how to protect yourself right now. We do not want you to wind up miserable, in the hospital, or even fighting for your life.
This Third World Disease
is Here to Stay
In Africa and the Middle East, West Nile virus is just a fact of life. Until a little over ten years ago, the disease was unheard here in the U.S. Some so-called authorities make the claim that the virus was brought here a distance of 3,500 miles by a mosquito – a rather unlikely scenario in my opinion. Another slightly more feasible explanation is that it was brought here by an infected horse. But considering that the first reported case of West Nile was in New York City (home to a lot more people than horses), it’s far more likely that the virus came to American via an infected traveler.
Since that time, we’ve had annual outbreaks that usually result in hundreds of deaths each year.
West Nile has made its way into our native bird population. Mosquitos bite the birds and become carriers. Then they bite you, and you become infected.
In many cases, infection leads to West Nile Fever. West Nile Fever is the mild form of the disease. It causes stomach pain, diarrhea, fever, headache, muscle aches, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes and vomiting. This fever will make you miserable, but it won’t kill you.
In other cases, West Nile virus causes serious complications including extremely dangerous meningitis – the swelling of the brain and spinal cord. Often confusion, muscle weakness, a stiff neck and loss of consciousness warn of these serious complications. In such cases, you need the care of a hospital. Three to 15 percent of patients with serious complications die each year from West Nile virus. Others suffer brain damage or permanent muscle weakness.
Once you’ve been bitten by an infected mosquito, you can’t stop the infection. You can only weather the storm.
Your best bet is to avoid infection altogether.
Your First Line of Defense
The best thing you can do to protect yourself and your family, and even your pets and neighbors, is to prevent mosquito infestations in the first place.
Mosquitos need standing water to breed. They lay their eggs in such places. So the first step to take is to eliminate any and all stagnant, standing water from your yard and around your home. Ask your neighbors to do the same.
Get rid of anything that can act as a water catch – buckets, old tires, wheelbarrows, and plastic sheeting, for example. In some cases, the solution is as easy as turning the item upside down.
Clean out your gutters. Blocked gutters allow water to accumulate and become a perfect place for mosquitoes to lay their eggs.
If you have a birdbath or wading pool, set up a reminder to change the water at least once a week. If you have a pond, look into making it home to a few mosquito-eating fish.
Finally, look for swampy areas in your yard and make arrangements to either fill or drain those areas.
Eliminating breeding grounds is just the first step. Once you do that, it’s time to look for ways to control the adult population.
Dense underbrush and weeds make an inviting refuge for adult mosquitoes, so clear undergrowth from your yard.
Another option is to set up a bat box in a tree or on the side of your home. Some bat species eat up to 1500 mosquitoes in a single night. By attracting bats to your yard, you create an all-natural mosquito defense that is highly effective.
You can also look into pesticides for both larvae and adult mosquitoes. Pesticides aren’t my favorite option, but in light of the seriousness of the problem, they should be on the table. If you want to go that route, talk to your local home and garden center about different types of pesticides, safety precautions you should take into account, and the additional pros and cons of each.
Your Personal Defense
When it comes to keeping these little, disease-ridden monsters off your own skin, you’ll find a lot of options at your local department store. Some are all-natural, using citronella and lemongrass to keep mosquitoes at bay. Others use the proven chemical barrier, DEET.
If you’re not sensitive to DEET, nothing works better. DEET is a powerful chemical, though, and, if you are sensitive or allergic, you will want to avoid it. In that case, a little trial and error with natural options can help you discover what works best for you.
Most mosquitoes become active in the early evening hours, so another way to avoid getting bitten is to move indoors when the mosquitoes come out. You can also buy mosquito-repellant coils if you’re going to be spending time on your patio, balcony, or porch. You light the coil and the smoke drives most of the mosquitoes away – they work over a ten to twenty foot radius. We’ve tried these and had good luck with them. They’re both cheap and effective.
Keep an Ace up Your Sleeve
Once you’ve been bitten by a mosquito carrying West Nile virus, you can’t stop the infection.
But, a lot of infected people never even develop symptoms. Their bodies simply and silently annihilate the virus.
Your very best defense against the misery and potential life-threatening complications of West Nile, is to maintain good health and strong immune system.
In case you’ve forgotten the basics, this means you should…
Eat lots of fruits and vegetables and lean protein.
Be physically active every day.
Drink lots of water.
Get enough sleep.
Have fun and beat stress.