West Nile Virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne arbovirus that can occur across all of the United States, including the Minneapolis area. Usually, humans are infected by the bite of an infected mosquito, although in rare cases people have become infected with WNV through blood transfusions, organ transplants and from mother to baby.
According the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), the West Nile Virus cycles between birds and mosquitoes. When an infected mosquito bites a bird, that bird then infects other mosquitoes when they are bitten again. When infected mosquitoes bite humans and other mammals, the virus stops there as the concentration of the virus in mammalian blood is not high enough to spread to other mosquitoes. Due to this cycle, the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District tracks WNV in the area by asking you to report dead birds, especially crows & blue jays, for testing.
WNV is mostly asymptomatic, with 70-80% of people infected experiencing no symptoms. Those who become ill typically experience a febrile illness that can includes symptoms such as:
In less than 1% of people who are infected a serious neurological illness such as meningitis or encephalitis can occur. The symptoms of neurological WNV illness can include neck stiffness, high fever, headache, coma, tremors, seizures or paralysis. Infected patients with specific medical conditions such as kidney disease, cancer, diabetes, organ transplant patients, or hypertension are at a greater risk for serious West Nile illness.
There is no specific antiviral treatment or vaccination for West Nile virus. See your doctor to receive help in managing the symptoms. If your case is severe it is especially important to see your doctor as you may need to be hospitalized for intravenous medications and specialized care.
With no treatment or vaccine, prevention is the best remedy. To prevent West Nile Virus in Minneapolis you should avoid mosquitoes and mosquito bites. Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities offers our traditional barrier spray treatment to eliminate 85-90% of the mosquitoes and ticks in your yard. With the special time released formula, our mosquito spray will continue to work for 2-3 weeks, in which our skilled technicians will come back and spray again to keep you mosquito free all season long. Call today for a no obligation quote 763-703-1412.