What Is West Nile Virus?

West Nile Virus is an illness spread by infected mosquitoes. West Nile virus (WNV) is a potentially serious illness. Experts believe WNV is established as a seasonal epidemic in North America that flares up in the summer and continues into the fall.

Most people who get West Nile Virus do not get sick. Others may have mild symptoms such as fever, headache, and feeling tired. Sometimes, it can cause serious infections of the brain, spinal cord and nerves. This is rare.

What Can I Do to Prevent WNV?

The easiest and best way to avoid WNV is to prevent mosquito bites.

  • When you are outdoors, use insect repellent containing an EPA-registered active ingredient. Follow the directions on the package.
  • Many mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn. Be sure to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants at these times or consider staying indoors during these hours.
  • Make sure you have good screens on your windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
  • Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets and barrels.
  • Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly.
  • Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out.
  • Keep children's wading pools empty and on their sides when they aren't being used.

Something to remember: The chance that any one person is going to become ill from a single mosquito bite remains low.

¿Qué es el Virus del Nilo Occidental?

El virus del Nilo occidental es una enfermedad transmitida por los mosquitos. El Virus del Nilo Occidental (VNO) es una enfermedad que puede ser grave. Los expertos consideran que el Virus del Nilo Occidental se ha convertido en una epidemia de temporada en Norte América, que recrudece en el verano y continúa hasta el otoño.

La mayoría de las personas que se infectan con el virus del Nilo occidental no se enferman. Es posible que otras presenten síntomas leves, tales como fiebre, dolores de cabeza y cansancio.A veces, puede causar infecciones graves en el cerebro, la médula espinal y los nervios. Esto es raro.

¿Qué puede hacer para prevenir el VNO?

La forma más fácil y mejor de evitar el VNO es prevenir la picadura de mosquitos.

  • Cuando esté al aire libre, utilice repelentes de insectos que contengan DEET (N, N-dietil-metatoluamide). Siga las instrucciones en el envase.
  • Muchos mosquitos son más activos al anochecer y al amanecer. Asegúrese de utilizar repelentes de insectos y de usar camisas de manga larga y pantalones o trate de estar adentro durante estas horas. La ropa de colores claros le puede ayudar a ver los mosquitos que se posan sobre usted.
  • Asegúrese de tener buenos mosquiteros en ventanas y puertas para evitar la entrada de mosquitos.
  • Puede eliminar los criaderos de mosquitos vaciando el agua acumulada en macetas para flores, en baldes y barriles.
  • Cambie el agua de los platos de las mascotas y remplace el agua de la pila para pájaros cada semana.
  • Haga huecos de drenaje en los columpios hechos con llantas para que salga el agua.
  • Mantenga vacías las piscinas portátiles para niños y póngalas de lado cuando no se estén utilizando.

Algo para recordar: La probabilidad de que una persona se enferme a causa de una picadura de mosquito sigue siendo baja.

General Information

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Links Other Resources – Websites and Phone Numbers

  • San Joaquin County Mosquito and Vector Control District,
    • Learn about the local surveillance, intervention and spraying schedules, call 209.982.4675, 1.800.300.4675 or visit the website at www.sjmosquito.org
  • San Joaquin County Office of Emergency Services
    • Learn about the local WNV situation and how to respond. Listen to the Recorded Message Hotline Phone Number 469-8200; or visit he website www.sjgov.org/oes
  • California Department of Public Health
    • Includes the latest WNV information in Washington, including basics about the disease, surveillance efforts in Washington State, related health issues, and educational materials. Call 1-877-968-2473 to report a dead bird or squirrel or you can submit an online report at westnile.ca.gov . For additional resources: http://www.westnile.ca.gov/resources.php
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    • Includes West Nile virus basics, maps of WNV activity in the U.S., preventative measures, and other resources. NOTE: This information is offered in several languages. The Public and Clinicians may call the CDC Hotline in English/Spanish at 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636 or TTY 1-888-232-6348) or visit the website at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/index.htm
  • World Health Organization