The West Nile Virus is an illness that could become very serious if not treated correctly. Scientists think that the West Nile Virus is a "seasonal epidemic", that begins in the middle of the summer and goes into the fall, or until it gets too cold for the mosquitoes to live. This year the season started about a month and a half early.
West Nile Virus affects the central nervous system. There are many different symptoms of the virus. In most people, about 80% who are infected will not show any symptoms. About 20% will show mild symptoms of the virus, including fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes a rash forms on the chest, stomach, and back. These symptoms usually last only a few days. A very limited number of people show serious signs of the virus; symptoms include coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis.
These symptoms usually last several weeks. Some of the effects may become permanent.
The West Nile Virus can be spread by two main ways. Infected mosquitoes; they usually spread the virus by biting a person. They usually become infected when they bite a bird that has been infected. In a small number of cases West Nile can be spread through blood transfusions, organ transplants, breast feeding, and pregnancy (from mother to child). The virus cannot be spread by kissing or touching.
This year's epidemic is one of the worst since 1999. The epidemic is worst than years before because you don't even need to be near water to get infected. Most of the mosquitoes are laying their eggs in our own back yards. At least 16 people have died so far this year including 8 of them from Louisiana. Although there have been many more deaths this year, most...