The CDC (Center for Disease Control) says this has been the worse year yet. They stated that 48 states have reported the virus in humans, birds, horses, and/or mosquitoes.
The West Nile Virus is a virus in the family of Flaviviridae viruses. This type virus infects animals, birds, reptiles, and humans after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
Texas is a state with a lot of reported West Nile Virus at this time. It was said in one of the articles that I read that Texas has a lot of birds such as the Robin and the Crow. It was also mentioned that this may be a reason for the larger numbers of virus in Texas. I found that in some areas where the virus is prevalent, the bird population is lower because they die from the virus.
Six states make up over 70 percent of all the cases of West Nile Virus. These states are Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas.
It is believed that many times people may be affected but not realize it because the only symptoms they had were a headache and a skin rash. However, many people have far greater symptoms like backache, diarrhea, excessive sweating, nausea, vomiting, swollen lymph nodes, and much more. The more serious problems can lead to Encephalitis ( inflammation of the brain), Meningitis (inflammation of the tissues surrounding the brain and spinal cord), Myelitis ( inflammation of the spinal cord), and paralysis.
There are several risk factors which we need to be aware of. We need to know that West Nile Virus begins to appear in early spring. Infections can peak in late summer and early fall or autumn. Never pick up a dead bird with your bare hands. You never know for sure what was the cause of death.
Keep your immune system in good working condition so this virus bypasses you and heads back toward the West Nile River area.