Is it the Flu or West Nile Virus?

Since 1999 the United States has been one of the many targets of the West Nile Virus. Considered a seasonal epidemic in North America, as it mainly occurs during the summer; this disease is generally spread by infected mosquitoes, transfusions, transplants and mother-to-child. Due to the fact that many of the symptoms can be confused with flu symptoms, people forget that this virus causes infections that may result in fatal illness. The seriousness of this disease is that it generally impacts the central nervous system, which in turn results in a variety of symptoms that differ from individual to individual.

The CDC reported that in terms of symptoms an estimated 80% of individuals infected with the West Nile Virus will not display symptoms at all, while close to 20% will show flu-like symptoms and one in 150 individuals will develop a severe illness.  On average it takes between 3 to 14 days after being bitten by the infected mosquito for symptoms to develop. For those who believe their loved ones may have been infected, ANY LAB TEST NOW® offers a simple blood test that can detect the virus.  If the virus is detected or an individual develops symptoms they should consult with their physician quickly for appropriate care.

In terms of prevention methods there are a number of ways in which you can avert mosquito bites:

  • When outdoors, use insect repellent containing an EPA-registered active ingredient.
  • Mosquitoes are typically most active at dusk and dawn. Therefore it is important to use insect repellent, wear long sleeves and pants during these times or consider the possibility of staying indoors during these hours.
  • Clear any potential mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets and barrels, change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly.

Agencies like your local health department as well as the CDC can provide you with more information on how to prevent the virus. For additional information on testing to detect the West Nile virus contact your local ANY LAB TEST NOW®