West Nile is unfortunately here in Omaha. Mosquitoes at Seymour Smith and Lake Zorinsky tested positive last week. West Nile virus is transmitted by the bite of mosquitoes. Last year Omaha and Douglas County had 71 confirmed cases of West Nile. While the vast majority of cases are mild, even unnoticeable, about 20% of people will get a fever, have body aches and general malaise, and may get a rash mostly on the torso. An unfortunate few will get the involvement of the brain and meninges, and that’s where it can get serious.
There’s no specific treatment for or immunization against West Nile virus. Treatment is directed at making symptoms better. The best prevention is avoiding getting bitten by mosquitoes.
Here are five tips for avoiding mosquito bites thus minimizing your exposure West Nile virus:
- Minimize outside activities at dusk and dawn when the mosquitoes are most active.
- Wear protective clothing like long sleeves and pants.
- Practice judicious use of insect repellent on exposed skin.
- Make sure there’s no standing water in your yard.
- Consider treating clothing with permethrin if you’re going to be in a high-risk area like camping near a body of water.
If you just have a mild to moderate fever, some body aches, and a rash, don’t worry. If you notice confusion, neck stiffness, strange motions with your limbs or paralysis, those are signs of invasive disease and it’s time to seek a definitive diagnosis. The silver lining is that if you do get West Nile virus disease, it’s likely to be mild and self-limited, and immunity is then usually permanent.
About Mission Direct Primary Care:
Mission Direct Primary Care is a membership-based family medicine clinic in Omaha, NE. We do not take or bill insurance, or charge per-visit or co-pays because our members pay a reasonable monthly fee.
Our founder, Dr. John Hallgren, believes that you deserve a personal relationship with your doctor who has the time to practice full-scope family medicine to keep you from unnecessary and expensive referrals. Someone you know and can rely on to always call you back on the same day and have readily available appointments for your urgent needs. Dr. Hallgren also believes that you deserve to understand the costs in order to best budget for your healthcare expenses.
Dr. Hallgren created Mission Direct Primary Care to provide patients in Omaha exactly that. Relationship. Access. Value.