Thursday, October 09, 2008

West Nile Hits Yucaipa: Beware the bite!

I was a bit dismayed to read the headline in today's News Mirror that the West Nile Virus infection has been confirmed here in Yucaipa - one person is sick and one horse has died. There is no treatment for West Nile Virus infection: unlike bacteria, viruses are not affected by antibiotics. The good news is that less than 1% of people who are infected will develop a severe illness, but among those who do, the fatality rate is between 3% and 15%.

West Nile is transmitted from infected birds to humans by mosquitoes, so the best protection is to not get bit:
  • Wear insect repellent, especially if you are outside at dusk or dawn.
  • Make sure there is no stagnant water in your yard
  • Be sure you have window and door screens that prevent mosquitoes from entering your home
And if you find a dead bird or squirrel, report it via the California dead bird hotline.

Stay safe!

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