When mosquitoes are out, there’s a threat from West Nile Virus. This is a common concern in any place that has mosquitoes since they’re the ones that transmit the virus. A Mosquito sample collected in the Jones Creek area tested positive for the virus.
The Louisiana Department of Health and local health officials are working to keep local families safe. West Nile virus is spread by mosquitoes and can cause illness in people and animals. West Nile virus and St. Louis Encephalitis virus come from the same family of viruses, called flaviviruses, and cause diseases that are similar to one another.
West Nile virus is spread to humans commonly by the bite of infected mosquitoes. In rare instances, the virus has been spread by blood transfusion, organ transplant, breastfeeding, and from mother to child during pregnancy. West Nile virus is NOT spread by casual contact such as touching, kissing, or caring for someone who is infected.
Symptoms generally occur 3-14 days following the bite of an infected mosquito.
Asymptomatic West Nile (most people)
Most people – 80 percent- of the people who are infected with West Nile have no symptoms or may experience mild illness, then recover fully. Often, these people only know they have West Nile because the virus is detected when they have blood work done for an unrelated reason, such as blood donation or routine lab work.
West Nile Fever (some people)
Up to 20 percent of people who are infected with West Nile contract West Nile Fever, a flu-like illness that causes symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, nausea, and, less frequently, skin rash on chest, stomach, and back, or sometimes swollen lymph glands or eye pain.
- West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease (few people)
- Fewer than 1 percent of individuals infected with West Nile can develop West Nile neuroinvasive disease, a serious form of the virus that affects the nervous system. Symptoms include severe headache, high fever, stiff neck, disorientation, muscle weakness, numbness, tremors, vision loss, coma, or paralysis. These symptoms last several weeks, and can cause death or permanent brain damage. The elderly are most at risk for this form of West Nile, but anyone who contracts West Nile has a chance of developing this most severe form.