Late in July, there it became official that mosquitoes in Manchester tested positive for West Nile virus, the first batch in New Hampshire detected this year. While West Nile virus being detected in mosquitoes isn’t at all unusual, as it is the most common mosquito-transmitted disease in the United States, what makes this report a little alarming is that it was detected much earlier in the season. Normally WNV makes an appearance near the end of August, as demonstrated from this post we made on August 20th of 2017.
What seems to be the reason for an earlier occurrence of West Nile virus in the area? The answer is birds. Indeed, WMUR reported that there have been an unusually high number of birds found to have had WNV this year. Mosquitoes become infected with WNV when they feed off an infected bird, then when it gets its next blood meal from a human, transmits the disease to people. The state’s recent heavy rains have led to an increase in the mosquito population this year, which overall makes the perfect recipe for West Nile virus to be detected earlier, and a higher likelihood of people becoming infected.
Thus far, there have been no human cases of West Nile virus reported, however, that doesn’t mean people aren’t infected. Most people (about 80%) don’t develop any symptoms at all, and those who do develop them experience flu-like symptoms such as fever, headaches, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea, and vomiting. Those who experience these symptoms usually recover completely, although their fatigue and weakness can last for weeks.
However, there is a small number of those who get infected with WNV (about 1 in 150) that experience serious illness that can affect the central nervous system such as encephalitis (brain inflammation) or meningitis (inflammation of membranes surrounding brain and spinal cord). Initial serious symptoms of this type of WNV include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, convulsions, numbness, and paralysis. The severe illness can affect people of any age, however seniors and those with compromised immune systems due to things like cancer and kidney disease are of a greater risk.
If you develop any flu-like symptoms, especially after you’ve noticed you’ve been bitten by a mosquito, definitely get checked out by a doctor. Your health should never be a gamble.
But to reduce your risk of contracting West Nile virus and any other mosquito-borne diseases, Mosquito Squad’s signature barrier treatment will reduce nearly 90% of mosquitoes in your yard for up to 21 days straight. Give us a call at 603-380-4541 for the best mosquito protection on the market. We look forward to hearing from you!