Monday, June 14, 2010

West Nile Virus and Western Equine Encephalitis (WEE)

These diseases are carried by mosquitoes and passed to humans through a mosquito bite.
Not all mosquitoes carry disease, the mosquitoes of greatest concern in Jefferson County are Culex (medium-sized mosquitoes) that feed primarily around dawn and dusk. These mosquitoes are monitored by JCPH’s integrated mosquito control program.

Symptoms: develop between 3 & 14 days after being bitten.

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Tiredness -lasting 2-7 days.
Most people who are infected with mosquito-borne viruses
do not become ill or have any symptoms.

In some cases:
The virus can cause a serious brain infection such as aseptic meningitis or encephalitis (inflammation of the brain and lining of the brain/spinal cord). These infections begin with:
  • Sudden onset of high fever
  • Headache
  • May progress to stiff neck
  • Disorientation
  • Tremors
  • Coma

Severe infections can result in permanent impairment or death.

There is no specific treatment for infection
these viruses except supportive care.


  • Mosquito proof your home and backyard.
  • Wear appropriate clothing and insect repellent.
  • Use insect repellent even in your own back yard.
  • Eliminate any standing water weekly. Culex mosquitoes breed in almost any source of standing water, including old tires, flowerpots, tree holes, or any puddle. Mosquitoes lay up to 250 eggs at a time, which hatch in as few as 2-3 days.

For more information on West Nile Virus and other animal-borne diseases, visit our website at

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