Anxiety over West Nile is epidemic.
The virus has erupted across the U.S. with a lot of fear, hype and pesticides. Originating in Africa, the virus found its way into the U.S. about 15 years ago. It is also found in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
People infected with the virus can be asymptomatic, have mild fever, rash or body aches or develop more severe symptoms including convulsions and paralysis. Symptoms can last for a few days to several weeks. Some deaths have occurred.
There is no preventative vaccine or specific treatment available for West Nile Virus, which is spread by mosquitoes. The uproar over this health concern has been nothing short of “the sky is falling” mentality. According to the New York Times Health report, “The outcome of a mild West Nile virus infection is excellent” with rare complications. About 80 percent of people infected develop no symptoms. Less than 1 percent (only .6 percent) develops a more serious form, and a very tiny percentage of those cases does not recover.
See Wednesday's paper for the full story.