West Nile Virus

 

West Nile Virus
History of West Nile Virus
Preventive Measures
Symptoms
Mosquito Facts
Mosquito Species
Statistics

The History of West Nile Virus


West Nile Virus Presentation - Part One

West Nile Virus Presentation - Part Two

The West Nile virus was first isolated in a woman in the West Nile district of Uganda in 1937. In 1957, in an outbreak amongst elderly patients in Israel, the virus was recognized as a cause of severe human meningitis or encephalitis (inflammation of the brain and spinal cord). Since then, the disease has spread throughout much of the world including Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and most recently, North America. It has been detected in humans, animals and mosquitoes in all of these regions.

The West Nile Virus first appeared in North America in 1999 in New York City. Since then, it has been found in 47 States. The West Nile virus was first reported in Canada in August 2001 when it was discovered in dead birds and mosquitoes in Southern Ontario. It has been reported in five provinces: Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Today, we know that the West Nile virus is carried by birds and transmitted by mosquitoes. A human being or animal is infected with the disease when they are bitten by a mosquito that is also infected.

The chances of a person being infected with the West Nile Virus is very low and of those infected, less than 1% will become seriously ill. The very best way to avoid being infected is to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes Here are some tips on how you can protect yourself from the West Nile Virus and prevent the disease from spreading:

  • Use bug repellent when outdoors
  • Wear protective clothing
  • Report any dead birds in your area
  • Eliminate areas around your home where water can collect as they can become ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes.

See West Nile virus history and statistics.

 

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