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The West Nile Virus is so widespread in the Dallas area this summer that the Mayor of Dallas has declared a state of emergency and brought in planes for aerial spraying of pesticides. The Metroplex has seen over 300 cases and some have been fatal. At least two cases have been confirmed in Lamar County. So here’s what moms need to know to protect their kids.
First, what is West Nile Virus? West Nile Virus is a strain of encephalitis, a serious and sometimes deadly viral disease that can be carried by some mosquitoes. First found in the United States in 1999, West Nile Virus has been reported in 46 states. In 2007, West Nile Virus was responsible for 115 deaths in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those most at risk are people over the age of 50, young children, and those with conditions that compromise the immune system may have more severe symptoms.
Next, What are the Symptoms? West Nile symptoms usually appear between five and 15 days after a bite from an infected mosquito. In the early stages, these symptoms may include:
If you or anyone in your family experiences any of these symptoms after being bitten by a mosquito, you should immediately seek medical attention.
Finally, what can you do to protect your family? Obviously, staying inside and away from mosquitoes is the best way to protect your loved ones, but not always practical. So here are some tips:
From one mommy to another,
Jenny Wilson is a mother of three. She teaches a Mommy & Me class at Central Presbyterian Day School, serves on the PCT Board and Children’s Theatre Advisory Committee, the CAC board, the Parent Association Boards of Aikin, Crockett and PJH and was recently elected to the Paris ISD School Board of Trustees. Mrs. Wilson is a Sunday school teacher at Holy Cross Episcopal Church. She also is a certified yoga instructor, Jazzercise instructor and marketing consultant.