West Nile is typically transmitted to humans through a mosquito bite. These mosquitoes carry the illness be feeding on infected dead birds. 70-80% people, who are infected with WNV, will have no symptoms at all whereas others will suffer from fever, headache, vomiting or rash.
Unfortunately, there are no vaccines you can take to prevent yourself from contracting this illness; however, you can take proper precautions to help reduce your risk.
1. Insect Repellant. Purchasing a bug spray that has DEET, picaridin and IR3535 on the label are recommended because of their long lasting protection.
2. Wearing the appropriate clothing. Mosquitoes can bite through thin clothing making yourself an easy target to be bitten in the summer when the temps are high and you are wearing less and less clothing. Try wearing longer, thicker clothes around the dusk and dawn hours where mosquitoes are most active.
3. Mosquito Proof your home. If you have a lot of bodies of water around your home, mosquitoes will swarm around them because they like the damp warm air around them. Avoid having bird baths, flowerpots and pet water dishes around areas where you are likely to be around the most.
If you have come in contact with WNV and suffer from any of the symptoms listed above, here are a few things you should do;
1. Take over the counter fever and pain reducers can be taken.
2. If the symptoms get worse or do not go away, it is important that you call your doctor to get treated immediately. Severe cases require fluids, pain medications and medical care that prevent any further, more fatal issues.