By: Francisco Diaz, The Laredo Sun
Although there has not been a confirmed case of the West Nile virus in Laredo, it is important to take measures in homes to prevent mosquito-breeding form, which can then transmit the virus.
Health officials have already declared Dallas a state of emergency and have prepared a campaign of spraying the air to kill mosquitoes.
Although most people infected with WNV will not show symptoms, some patients may have fever, headache, body aches, and swollen lymph nodes.
The virus can be dangerous when those infected develop encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain or meningitis, an inflammation of the spine, which can lead to death.
The West Nile virus is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no recorded evidence that it is transmitted from person to person, from one animal to another, or from one animal to person.
There is no specific treatment for West Nile virus infection. When cases are serious, people are hospitalized and are given support medication.
Health officials advised people not to leave their homes at dawn or dusk because that is when most mosquitoes come out.
People should apply insect repellent sparingly to exposed skin. Clothing can also be sprayed for maximum effectiveness. Pants and long sleeves are also recommended for the outdoors.
Homes are discouraged from keeping used tires or containers where water can accumulate and where mosquito may breed. This may contribute to the spread of this dangerous virus.
Edited by: C.R.