Back to Top Skip to main content

Summer may be gone, but West Nile Virus remains a threat

Mosquito activity is still at its peak during early fall but taking steps to prevent mosquito bites can reduce risk of West Nile Virus. (U.S. Army photo) Mosquito activity is still at its peak during early fall but taking steps to prevent mosquito bites can reduce risk of West Nile Virus. (U.S. Army photo)

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Mosquito-Borne Illnesses

Summer has come to an end, but mosquito-borne illnesses are still a risk. Whether you’re enjoying the outdoors at home or traveling abroad, knowing where West Nile Virus can be found and taking steps to prevent mosquito bites can help reduce your risk.

“We want to keep our service members and their families safe from infection,” said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Alexandra Singer, an internal medicine provider and the chief of Preventive Health for the Defense Health Agency Occupational & Environmental Health Branch. “For West Nile Virus, the best way to reduce your risk of illness is by protecting yourself from mosquito bites.”

West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne infectious disease that first appeared almost 20 years ago, according to the National Institutes of Health. While most infected people show either no symptoms or mild symptoms, 1 in 150 people will develop a severe illness which can turn fatal if it causes inflammation of the brain or the tissue that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.

The Army Public Health Center said approximately 4 out of 5 people infected with the virus show no symptoms at all, and up to 20 percent develop mild symptoms, such as a fever, headache, and body aches. Severe symptoms include a high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, tremors, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness, and paralysis.

“If you become ill with symptoms such as headache, fever, muscle weakness, and disorientation, and you think you may have been exposed to West Nile Virus, the best course of action is to seek medical attention as soon as possible,” Singer warned. Symptoms usually develop three days to two weeks after being bitten by a mosquito, and can last for a few days or several weeks depending on the severity, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Singer said mosquito activity peaks from summer to early fall. Although most cases are transmitted by mosquitoes, the virus can also spread through blood transfusions, organ transplants, and from mother to child during pregnancy or breastfeeding, according to the CDC.

“Giving providers as many details as possible about recent whereabouts and possible exposure to mosquitoes can help them decide whether any testing is needed,” said Singer. “If the suspicion of West Nile Virus infection is high, blood is drawn to test for antibodies.” The CDC warns that if running this test within a week of exposure to the virus, results may return as a false negative, requiring repeat testing.

“There continue to be developments in trying to establish some therapeutics as well as vaccine for the West Nile Virus infection,” said Dr. Limone C. Collins Jr., chief of vaccine safety and evaluation for the DHA Immunization Healthcare Branch, adding that research is still in its early stages. “A worldwide effort to mitigate this epidemic has been underway.”

According to the World Health Organization, West Nile Virus is most commonly found in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, North America, and West Asia. The virus first appeared in the United States in 1999 and has since been detected in all 48 contiguous states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, Singer noted.

The Army Public Health Center recommends limiting mosquito contact by applying insect repellent to exposed skin, spraying clothing and supplies with permethrin, making sure windows and doors have screens, and wearing clothes that minimize skin exposure. Emptying containers – such as buckets, wading pools, and bird baths – to get rid of shallow, standing water where mosquito larva thrive can also help reduce risk for infection, said Singer.

“Knowledge is power,” said Singer. “Remaining informed and aware of any infectious disease threats or outbreaks in your environment will go a long way toward helping you reduce your risk of infection.”

You also may be interested in...

MSMR Vol. 2 No. 6 – July 1996

Report
1/1/1996

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Hookworm Disease - Ft. Drum, NY; Selected notifiable conditions; Notifiable sexually transmitted diseases; Malaria Outbreak, Vincenza, Italy; Surveillance trends: Hospitalization rates, Bosnia; Bosnia update: DNBI hospitalizations; Heat / Cold weather injuries, Jan - Jun, 1996; Supplement: HIV-1 in the Army; Status of HIV-1 infected patients; Active duty soldiers infected with HIV-1; Prevalence of HIV-1, civilian applicants; HIV-1 testing program, 1985 – 1995; ARD surveillance update.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 2 No. 4 – April 1996

Report
1/1/1996

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Rash outbreaks, U.S. forces operating in Belgium; Selected notifiable conditions; Notifiable sexually transmitted diseases; Injuries and fitness in BCT units, FLW, MO; Surveillance trends: Hospitalization rates, Bosnia; Bosnia update: DNBI hospitalizations; Shigellosis case reports, WRAMC; ARD surveillance update; Supplement #1: 1995 Hospitalization Summary; Active duty hospitalizations; Hospitalization rates; Total hospital sickdays; Non-effective rates; Supplement #2: 1995 Reportable Disease Summary; All notifiable conditions; Notifiable sexually transmitted diseases; Force strength (December 1995).

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 2 No. 1 – January 1996

Report
1/1/1996

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Cold Weather Injuries, Oct - Dec, 1995; Selected notifiable conditions; Notifiable sexually transmitted diseases; Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis – WRAMC; Surveillance Trends: CWI hospitalization rates; Hepatitis A in a SF Unit, Ft Lewis, WA; Supplement: Notifiable conditions Jan - Dec 1995; Notifiable conditions reported through MSS; Heat / Cold weather injuries; Notifiable sexually transmitted diseases; ARD surveillance update; Force strength (September 1995).

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 2 No. 3 – March 1996

Report
1/1/1996

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Cutaneous Leishmaniasis, WRAMC; Selected notifiable conditions; Notifiable sexually transmitted diseases; Preliminary data: HEARS; Leprosy in a Navy family member, Ft Hood; Surveillance Trends: Hospitalization rates, Bosnia; Bosnia update: DNBI Hospitalizations; ARD surveillance update.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 2 No. 9 – November 1996

Report
1/1/1996

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Shigella sonnei diarrheal outbreaks; Selected notifiable conditions; Notifiable sexually transmitted diseases; TB Skin Test Converters, Ft. Leavenworth; Surveillance trends: Hospitalization rates, Bosnia; Bosnia update: DNBI hospitalizations; ARD surveillance update.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 2 No. 2 – February 1996

Report
1/1/1996

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Injuries in integrated BCT units, FLW, MO; Selected notifiable conditions; Notifiable sexually transmitted diseases; Cold weather injuries, Ft. Drum, NY; Surveillance Trends: Hospitalizations, Bosnia; Bosnia update: DNBI Hospitalizations; TB skin test results, Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas; ARD surveillance update.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 1 No. 2 – May 1995

Report
1/1/1995

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Tularemia case report; ARD surveillance update; Rubella outbreak in German troops, Ft. Bragg; Selected notifiable conditions; Notifiable sexually transmitted diseases; Injury hospitalizations, ODS; Top ten corner: Disability evaluations.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 1 No. 8 – November 1995

Report
1/1/1995

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Hydrogen sulfide exposure, Ft Irwin; Selected notifiable conditions; Notifiable sexually transmitted diseases; GBS following Influenza immunization; Korean hemorrhagic fever, Korea; Escherichia coli 0157:H7, Fort Leavenworth, KS; PM guidance: Deployment to FRY; Cold weather injury rates, 1991 – 1995; ARD surveillance update.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 1 No. 5 – August 1995

Report
1/1/1995

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Heat related Injuries, July 1995; Selected notifiable conditions; Notifiable sexually transmitted diseases; Heat / Cold weather injuries, Jan - Jul, 1995; Classification and disposition of heat injuries; Respiratory disease outbreak, Fort Jackson; Surveillance trends: Heat Injuries 1990 – 1994; ARD surveillance update; Lightning Strike, Fort Jackson.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 1 No. 6 – September 1995

Report
1/1/1995

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Dermatitis outbreak, Heidelberg, Germany; Selected notifiable conditions; Notifiable sexually transmitted diseases; Heat injuries, Mar - Aug, 1995; Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, Korea; Surveillance trends: HFRS 1990-1994; ARD surveillance update.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 1 No. 3 – June 1995

Report
1/1/1995

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Surveillance for tuberculosis infection, WRAMC; Selected notifiable conditions; Notifiable sexually transmitted diseases; Top ten corner: Causes of lost duty days; Adenovirus Outbreak - Fort Jackson; ARD surveillance update; Supplement: HIV-1 infection; Status of HIV-1 infected patients; Prevalence of HIV-1, civilian applicants; Active duty soldiers infected with HIV-1; HIV-1 testing program, 1985 – 1994.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 1 No. 9 – December 1995

Report
1/1/1995

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Hydrogen sulfide exposure, Ft Irwin; Selected notifiable conditions; Notifiable sexually transmitted diseases; GBS following Influenza immunization; Korean hemorrhagic fever, Korea; Escherichia coli 0157:H7, Fort Leavenworth, KS; PM guidance: Deployment to FRY; Cold weather injury rates, 1991 – 1995; ARD surveillance update.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 1 No. 4 – July 1995

Report
1/1/1995

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Diarrheal outbreak, UN battalion, Haiti; Selected notifiable conditions; Notifiable sexually transmitted diseases; Malaria in active duty soldiers; Supplement: Notifiable conditions Jan - Jun 1995; Notifiable conditions reported through MSS; Heat / Cold weather injuries; Notifiable sexually transmitted diseases; ARD surveillance update; Force strength (March 1995).

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 1 No. 7 – October 1995

Report
1/1/1995

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Adenovirus serosurvey, basic trainees; Influenza immunization guidelines, 1995-96; Selected notifiable conditions; Notifiable sexually transmitted diseases; Mefloquine use in pregnant soldiers; Surveillance trends: Bacterial diarrhea; Supplement: Notifiable conditions Jan - Sep 1995; Notifiable conditions reported through MSS; Heat / Cold weather injuries; Notifiable sexually transmitted diseases; ARD surveillance update; Force strength (June 1995).

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 1 No. 1 - April 1995

Report
1/1/1995

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Chemical agent exposure, Germany; Selected notifiable conditions; Notifiable sexually transmitted diseases; Influenza-like illness, Ft Benning; ARD update; Supplement #1: 1994 Hospitalization Summary; Active Duty Hospitalizations; Hospitalization rates; Total Hospital Sickdays; Non-Effective Rates; Supplement #2: 1994 Reportable Disease Summary; Reports submitted by MT0; Notifiable sexually transmitted diseases; All notifiable conditions; Heat / Cold weather injuries; Force strength (December 1994).

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health
<< < ... 21 22 23 > >> 
Showing results 331 - 345 Page 23 of 23

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.