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West Nile Virus


What is West Nile Virus? - (Click here for a link to the CDC website.)
West Nile Virus(WNV) is a disease that is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito after it has fed off a bird infected with the virus.  WNV is not spread through touching or kissing someone with the virus.  WNV is considered a seasonal issue in North America, and it occurs mainly in summer, but can continue into the fall season.  Infection occurs in less than 1% of people bitten by an infected mosquito. 

How does West Nile Virus spread?
Most of the time, WNV is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito.  Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds.

What symptoms are most common?  Approximately 80 percent of people who are infected with WNV usually show no symptoms at all.  People typically develop symptoms between 3 and 14 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
    - fever
    - headache
    - body aches
    - skin rash on the chest, stomach or back
    - swollen lymph glands
    - nausea
    - vomiting
    - diarrhea
    - loss of appetite

More severe symptoms (in less than 1% of infected people) might include:
    - high fever
    - severe headache
    - disorientation or confusion
    - stupor or coma
    - tremors or muscle jerking
    - lack of coordination
    - convulsions
    - pain
    - neck stiffness
    - muscle weakness
    - vision loss
    - numbness

If you experience any of these symptoms, please contact the Student Health Services at 732-2743 or another health care provider.

How do you  reduce your risk for West Nile Virus?   Click the picture below to watch a video clip on how to protect yourself from West Nile Virus.


 green mosquito

  • Cover Up! Wearing long sleeve shirts, long pants and socks sprayed with repellent while outdoors can further help prevent mosquito bites. Avoid Mosquitoes! Many mosquitoes bite between dusk and dawn. Limit time outdoors during these hours, or be especially sure to use repellents and protective clothing.
  • Spray! Spray insect repellent containing DEET (Look for N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) on exposed skin when you go outdoors. Spray clothing with repellents containing DEET or permethrin. Products with a higher percentage of DEET (up to 50%) give longer protection. Don't spray repellent on skin under clothing. Don't use permethrin on skin.
  • Use Repellent Carefully! Repellents containing DEET are very safe for adults and children when used according to directions. Don't put repellent on kid's hands because it may get in their mouth or eyes.



    Screens: Keep mosquitoes outside by fixing or installing window and door screens.

    Drain Standing Water: Don't give mosquitoes a place to breed. A small amount of standing water can be enough for a mosquito to lay her eggs. Look around every week for possible mosquito breeding places.  Empty water from buckets, cans, pool covers, flower pots and other items. Throw away or cover up stored tires and other items that aren't being used. Clean pet water bowls weekly. Check if rain gutters are clogged. If you store water outside or have a well, make sure it's covered up. Encourage your neighbors to do the same.




    Dead birds help health departments track West Nile virus.

    If you find a dead bird, do not handle it with your bare hands.  Contact the Erie County Department of Health for instructions on reporting and disposing of the body.