Be Aware of Mosquitoes | VideoJenny Castro | 6/15/2012
Mosquitoes are annoying, but if they`re carrying the West Nile Virus they could be deadly. That`s why the North Dakota Department of Health has at least one mosquito trap in every county, so they can monitor the disease.
"If they start seeing the type of mosquitoes that can contract West Nile virus then they`ll get the word out that it`s more likely that people may contract the disease,Ē said environmental health practitioner Lisa Otto.
The symptoms are different from person to person. In severe cases neurological symptoms or even death can occur. In mild cases you might not recognize that you even have the disease.
"Symptoms can be very very mild, a little fever, a little headache. Some people donít have any symptoms at all, but have an antibody to it," said field epidemiologist Linda Larson.
A little headache might not sound too bad, but once you have it, there`s not much to do about it.
"There is no treatment. There aren`t any antibiotics to help the person become better sooner. There is just nothing for West Nile virus at this time," said Larson.
Since you don`t know which mosquitoes have it or how bad it could be if you contracted the virus, it`s important to at least try and limit your chances of being bit by these pests. Wear bug spray with registered ingredients like DEET, picaridin and permethrin, wear long sleeves or pants if you`re going to be outside for a while, keep your grass trimmed and try not to hang out too long around standing water.
"The main thing is if you become ill and it doesn`t go away then you should be seen by a provider," said Larson.
With the greatest risk for transmission in the months of July and August, wear you`re bug spray and be aware of the symptoms.
Last year, four West Nile virus cases were reported to the North Dakota Department of Health, with no deaths.