West Nile Virus spreads with hot summer weather

With two recent articles published by The Post and Courier, the West Nile Virus just gives another reason as to why you need to protect yourself against mosquitoes.

With most of the nation experiencing a drought this summer, the combination of dry, hot weather in contrast with sudden downpours leaves stagnant water for a mosquito breeding ground. Although most of us in the Lowcountry have become accustomed to those itchy bites, the West Nile virus takes the severity to a whole new level. Originally transferred from bird to mosquito then to human symptoms can range from neck stiffness, disorientation, muscle weakness, and even paralysis. The extreme summer heat only speeds up the mosquito life cycle and infiltration of the virus. Many fear that this summer may be the worst outbreak since the discovery of the disease in 2002.

Although only affecting 1 in 150 who contract the virus, epidemiologists seem to be on high alert. Most striking was the Post and Courier’s quote by Linn Haramis of the Illinois Dept. of Health, “The risk is high and people need to listen. This thing could put you in a wheelchair at age 60 for the rest of your life.”

This summer, at least four cases have been confirmed in South Carolina including Charleston.

What can you do to protect yourself?

Remove any nearby standing water

Keep outdoor activity a minimum during mosquito peak activity (both dusk and dawn)

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