/* mobile /* end mobile MEDDESKTOP: West Nile Virus FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) and Answers!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

West Nile Virus FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) and Answers!

From CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)


What Is West Nile Virus?
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. This fact sheet contains important information that can help you recognize and prevent West Nile virus.

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.

What Are the Symptoms of WNV?

  • Serious Symptoms in a Few People. About one in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness. The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.
  • Milder Symptoms in Some People. Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected have symptoms such as fever, headache, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms can last for as short as a few days, though even healthy people have become sick for several weeks.
  • No Symptoms in Most People. Approximately 80 percent of people (about 4 out of 5) who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all.

How Does West Nile Virus Spread?

  • Infected Mosquitoes. Most often, WNV is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds. Infected mosquitoes can then spread WNV to humans and other animals when they bite.
  • Transfusions, Transplants, and Mother-to-Child. In a very small number of cases, WNV also has been spread through blood transfusions, organ transplants, breastfeeding and even during pregnancy from mother to baby.
  • Not through touching. WNV is not spread through casual contact such as touching or kissing a person with the virus.

How Soon Do Infected People Get Sick?
People typically develop symptoms between 3 and 14 days after they are bitten by the infected mosquito.

How Is WNV Infection Treated?
There is no specific treatment for WNV infection. In cases with milder symptoms, people experience symptoms such as fever and aches that pass on their own, although even healthy people have become sick for several weeks. In more severe cases, people usually need to go to the hospital where they can receive supportive treatment including intravenous fluids, help with breathing and nursing care.

What Should I Do if I Think I Have WNV?
Milder WNV illness improves on its own, and people do not necessarily need to seek medical attention for this infection though they may choose to do so. If you develop symptoms of severe WNV illness, such as unusually severe headaches or confusion, seek medical attention immediately. Severe WNV illness usually requires hospitalization. Pregnant women and nursing mothers are encouraged to talk to their doctor if they develop symptoms that could be WNV.

What Is the Risk of Getting Sick from WNV?

People over 50 at higher risk to get severe illness. People over the age of 50 are more likely to develop serious symptoms of WNV if they do get sick and should take special care to avoid mosquito bites.

Being outside means you're at risk.
The more time you're outdoors, the more time you could be bitten by an infected mosquito. Pay attention to avoiding mosquito bites if you spend a lot of time outside, either working or playing.

Risk through medical procedures is very low.
All donated blood is checked for WNV before being used. The risk of getting WNV through blood transfusions and organ transplants is very small, and should not prevent people who need surgery from having it. If you have concerns, talk to your doctor.

Pregnancy and nursing do not increase risk of becoming infected with WNV. The risk that WNV may present to a fetus or an infant infected through breastmilk is still being evaluated. Talk with your care provider if you have concerns.

What Is the CDC Doing About WNV?
CDC is working with state and local health departments, the Food and Drug Administration and other government agencies, as well as private industry, to prepare for and prevent new cases of WNV.

Some things CDC is doing include:

  • Coordinating a nation-wide electronic database where states share information about WNV
  • Helping states develop and carry out improved mosquito prevention and control programs
  • Developing better, faster tests to detect and diagnose WNV
  • Creating new education tools and programs for the media, the public, and health professionals
  • Opening new testing laboratories for WNV
  • Working with partners on the development of vaccines

What Else Should I Know?

Worried about a mosquito bite? Reduce your stress and learn how to avoid them in the future:



If you find a dead bird: Don't handle the body with your bare hands. Contact your local health department for instructions on reporting and disposing of the body.
They may tell you to dispose of the bird after they log your report.

For more information call the CDC public response hotline
at (888) 246-2675 (English), (888) 246-2857 (EspaƱol), or (866) 874-2646 (TTY)

1 comment:

DrMoskowitz said...

This article by the CDC about West Nile virus glaringly fails to mention a published treatment for WNV encephalitis. My company developed (and owns a patent which is still pending) on the treatment, and has been using it in an ongoing free clinical trial for the past 5 years, since 2003.

I have absolutely no interest watching people die from a disease from a disease I'm quite confident I can treat. And for the 5th summer in a row.

Our initial results on 8 patients seen in Sept, 2003 were published in a peer-reviewed medical journal in July, 2004 (1). Publication in a peer-reviewed medical journal is all that's required for a treatment to officially exist, even if the public health authorities refuse to mention it.

21 patients with WNV have responded so far, out of 25 (84%). We've also treated 4 horses (3 responded) and 12 birds (6 responded; birds present sicker than humans and horses). Our WNV trial is free from our end. The blood pressure meds we use are inexpensive (around $1/day) and are available by prescription from any drugstore in the country.

Anybody who wants to download our trial documents can do so at any time of day or night from our homepage at www.genomed.com.

It would be great if you could help publicize this treatment now, since beginning treatment early--within the first 48 hrs of encephalitis symptoms--seems to be the only way to avoid long-term sequelae such as paralysis, chronic fatigue, cognitive problems, etc. WNV is notorious for still affecting half of WNV victims 18 months later.

If a family knows about our treatment ahead of time, they'll be in a much better position to get it prescribed for their relative who comes down with the disease. Physicians haven't heard about this treatment any more than patients have, thanks to the inexplicable, and, I think, inexcusable, silence of the public health authorities, from the CDC on down.

It looks like CDC enjoys watching people suffer as much as FEMA does.

Reference
1. Moskowitz DW, Johnson FE. The central role of angiotensin I-converting enzyme in vertebrate pathophysiology. Curr Top Med Chem. 2004;4(13):1433-54. PMID: 15379656 (For PDF file, click on paper #6 at: http://www.genomed.com/index.cfm?action=investor&drill=publications)

Best regards,

Dave Moskowitz MD
Chairman, CEO & Chief Medical Officer
GenoMed, Inc.
"Our business is public health(TM)"
website: www.genomed.com
Ticker symbol: GMED.PK (on the OTC Pink Sheets)
email: dwmoskowitz@genomed.com

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