Public Education

West Nile Virus Awareness Among the General Public and Health and Veterinarians

Author: Environmental Health Staff/Wednesday, January 2, 2013/Categories: West Nile Virus, Disease Prevention and Control

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Since outbreaks of West Nile virus occur each summer in the United States, increased public awareness could become one of the keys to mitigating the effects of a disease that is always spread in much the same way and generally presents the same set of symptoms. West Nile virus is transmitted to people by infected mosquitoes.  In the United States, most people are infected from June through September, and the number of these infections usually peaks in mid-August. In 2012, there was a spike in WNV with the largest number of cases being reported to the CDC through July since 2004.   

Given the fact that there is no vaccine against WNV, an enhanced understanding of the symptoms and treatment of the disease on the part of physicians and other health professionals affords the best chance of receiving timely medical treatment or palliative care once diagnosed.

To increase awareness of the disease among the general public, the Environmental Health Division of the WCHD has written articles informing county residents of how they can stem the spread of the virus by denying mosquitos the stagnant water in which they breed and how they can protect themselves from mosquito bites. The Division intends to continue authoring additional articles for posting in divisional news whenever appropriate and will also use public education forums, press releases, newspaper articles and social media to meet our public awareness objectives.

Useful links:

Mosquitoes and Mosquito Repellents: A Clinician's Guide

National Pesticide Information Center - West Nile Virus Resource Guide

Environment Protection Agency - Mosquito Control Pesticides

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Environmental Health Staff

Environmental Health Staff

Environmental Health

Environmental Health

The Will County Environmental Health Department protects public health through programs specifically designed to promote healthy environmental conditions and reduce risks associated with communicable disease.
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