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West Nile Virus Epidemic

20 posts in this topic

Posted (edited) · Report post

The West Nile Virus has reached epidemic stage in Dallas county where there have already been 9 WNV related deaths and hundreds of confirmed cases. :disappoint:

Meanwhile a few hours south, in Houston, where we live, Dr. Rudy Bueno, Harris County Mosquito Control Director, stated that 90% of the mosquitos tested in the Houston area are testing positive for the virus. FREAKIN' 90%!!! :blackeye::tinfoil:

In doing the research to send a mass email out to the employees of my company and our tenants, I discovered that it's not just Texas that needs to take precautions....

Here is the Centers of Disease Control WNV resource: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/index.htm

Please take a moment to learn more.

Don't stop cachin', but be extra careful especially in the early morning and evenings when the nasty little critters are most active

.

Oh, I meant this as a joke back in 2003, but it sadly has been proven to be true... geocaching:(v) Wayyy more chances to contract West Nile or Lyme Disease than the average person...

Anyone know of any cachers that have contracted WNV???

Be careful out there and don't forget the mosquito repellant.

Edited by Snoogans

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Posted · Report post

His names escapes me at the moment but a few years back a cacher in clearlake got WNV.

Here you go..

Freysman.

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Posted · Report post

Most people who contract west nile virus have no symptoms. A smaller proportion have symptoms somewhat akin to the flu. A much smaller proportion can get very sick (and this is what typically gets reported on the news). The relative amounts (according to Wikipedia) are 110:30:1. The CDC reports that 1 in 150 infected people develop "severe illness" and 80% show no symptoms whatsoever.

My suspicion is that most of the cachers in the area have contracted WNV and showed no symptoms or the flu-like symptoms.

However, that is no reason not to take precautions since most of us won't know that we had it.

team-adoptapet and Snoogans like this

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There was a news report recently that said WNV cases in Houston were actually declining and attributed it to the fact that most people have already been exposed and are now immune. Like any other infectious disease, those with compromised immune systems are the most at risk.

Snoogans likes this

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There was a news report recently that said WNV cases in Houston were actually declining and attributed it to the fact that most people have already been exposed and are now immune. Like any other infectious disease, those with compromised immune systems are the most at risk.

I would love to see that. It would help balance my report even better than the 1 in 150 CDC stats that I have.

I don't want to come off as alarmist, but I want folks to think harder about taking precautions. 90% of sampled mosquitos infected with WNV is rather shocking to hear.

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My suspicion is that most of the cachers in the area have contracted WNV and showed no symptoms or the flu-like symptoms.

However, that is no reason not to take precautions since most of us won't know that we had it.

I have the exact same suspicion. I have yet to finfd if there is a test to see if one has been previously exposed. If there was, I would have it run on me in our clinic at work. I'm curious.

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Posted · Report post

My suspicion is that most of the cachers in the area have contracted WNV and showed no symptoms or the flu-like symptoms.

However, that is no reason not to take precautions since most of us won't know that we had it.

I have the exact same suspicion. I have yet to finfd if there is a test to see if one has been previously exposed. If there was, I would have it run on me in our clinic at work. I'm curious.

There are tests to be run to prove that someone has WNV. One webpage that I saw suggested that it wasn't useful to run on someone who was asymptomatic. I think they meant that it had no diagnostic utility, but I'm sure it would provide peace of mind (if you knew that you already had been exposed). It appears that current thoughts are that the immunity lasts several years and may be permanent. I believe the test is for WNV specific antibodies.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

It's just important to keep things in context. Since West Nile first appeared in the US ten years ago, it has been linked to 23 deaths in Harris County. It preys mostly on the elderly and others with compromised immune systems. There is no vaccinne. By comparison, another disease which also affects the weak and elderly to a greater extent that the rest of the population -- the seasonal flu (for which there IS a vaccine) -- is linked to upwards of 600 deaths each year in Harris County*.

(*that number was swagged by taking the national rate of flu deaths according to the CDC and dividing it by our percentage of the national population. YMMV.)

Edited by HoustonControl

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Because of chiggers, not mossies, I hardly ever venture off-road (on foot) without spraying down. I hate fricken chiggers worse than any thing we encounter. In case you've never seen one, here's an actual photo of one following this period.

Mr Muddy Buddy and empressone like this

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Because of chiggers, not mossies, I hardly ever venture off-road (on foot) without spraying down. I hate fricken chiggers worse than any thing we encounter. In case you've never seen one, here's an actual photo of one following this period.

I counted 5 in that photo. :coolsmiley:

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Argh! I got chigger bites from last weekend. I'm sure they came from that animal known as Log Dawgs...

Jeez they itch and welt up.

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I still have scars from where I was attacked by chiggers a couple of months ago. Miserable! Now I cringe when I am having to walk through tall grass this summer. I unexpectedly went after the twin city cache in Tomball this afternoon, and what was there you ask? None other than my arch nemesis right now, tall grass! I had flip flops on to boot! Out I came with the 90% Deet spray and showered myself and the little adoptapet with me. We got the cache, but of course will have to wait until later to see if we were cursed by the chiggar. The whelps didn't show up on me until about three days later on my last seige. Wish us luck!

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TAAP, we have the same arch nemesis - tall grass and chiggers. :angry: After my bout with chiggers a few months again, I am paranoid about any grass, even if just to ankle level. Gotta love the 90% deet!!! :D

KeyResults likes this

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Posted · Report post

I have had so few mosquito bites this year, I've become lax about spraying down, even when hiking in the woods. It seems like another layer on top of the sun screen that will just make you hotter.

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I've come to terms with the fact that I wear some form of deet the way some women wear perfume! :-P

KeyResults likes this

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Posted (edited) · Report post

The Culex mosquitoes that carries the West Nile Virus are most active in the evening and at night. Another reason to stay out of the NTN clique club. :2funny:

Edited by HoustonControl

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I am very elderly with a low WBC count so should probably stay out of the woods during the summer. However, last spring following the rains we spent several hours geocaching in Bush Park where about 1/3 of our hike was in ankle-deep water. Despite using Deet, each of us had a few dozen mossies flying around us most of the time. Suprisingly, I did not have a single bite so the stuff must really work. Now as for chiggers - they're worse than mossies in my opinion.

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I hear that some cachers who might have possibly contracted WNV have disappeared into some unknown, swampy area of Baytown with the FTFC trophy...they have never been heard of again...

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Spray your ankles with deet, then spray you socks. Spray along the seams of your pants, around the waist and that should keep the chiggers at bay. Also, for the women, spray around the bottom of your bra and the sides of the bra. Mas importante!!

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