West Nile Virus Victims from Mosquito Bites Reaches 5 in PA

Mosquito Bites and West Nile VirusMosquitoes infected with the West Nile Virus continue to spread the potentially fatal disease as the number of victims of the disease has risen to 5 according to The Pennsylvania Department of Health.

In a September 9 press release, officials concern over the illness transmitted through mosquito bites to humans is most acute forthe elderly and “persons with compromised immune systems” who should not go outside during peak mosquito activity times such as the early morning or evening.

Secretary of Health Dr. Calvin B. Johnson said:

“The Department of Health remains concerned about the risk of West Nile virus for Pennsylvania residents, particularly people in southeastern PA. The recent spraying in the Philadelphia area was a necessary measure to reduce the threat of human illness from West Nile virus and is likely to have prevented additional cases.”

Two possible manifestations of West Nile Virus are possible according to the Department of Health. First, the disease can cause what is known as West Nile Fever which can mean a headache, body aches, skin rash, and swollen lymph glands accompanied by the fever. The second and more serious version is West Nile encephalitis which brings an inflammation of the brain.

Encephalitis symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, disorientation, a decreased level of alertness, tremors, seizures, paralysis, and coma according to officials.

It is recommended that anyone experiencing the onset of these symptoms should contact a medical care provider as soon as possible.

Similar to recommendations by officials and experts in other states, Pennsylvania officials recommend the use of DEET if you anticipate being outdoors in areas where mosquito bites are possible.

September 9, 2008 – 9:51 am

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