Atlanta, Georgia (WiredPRNews.com) — Lyle Petersen of Fort Collins, Colorado ventured down his driveway on his way to collect the mail and stopped to have a brief chat with his neighbor. However, during that short walk, Petersen was bitten by a mosquito and was infected with the West Nile Virus, an illness that is notoriously carried by the irritating biting bugs. Immediately after being bitten, Petersen felt as if he knew the symptoms that were coming–and they were coming strong.
Petersen knew what to expect from his work as a director at the Diseases Borne by Vector Division at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Immediately, Petersen got his blood tested and got his suspicions were confirmed. He said, “From my own experience, I can tell you it’s not a very mild illness. It will ruin your summer.”
According to experts, there is an expected epidemic every summer when the weather gets hot and standing water becomes a breeding ground for mosquitoes. The West Nile Virus has been remained a constant fear of citizens for the past few years and for Petersen, there is nothing different this year.
Petersen says that the West Nile Virus will reach its peak during the months of July through September. He added, “People tend to discount this as a significant problem but more than 1.5 million people have been infected so far in the United States, and about 300,000 have had West Nile fever.”
The West Nile Virus surfaced in USA nine years ago and it spreads with stealth ease due to the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes carry the strand while preying and feeding upon infected birds. According to a CDC report, the West Nile Virus can also spread from blood transfusions, breastfeeding and organ transplants. The symptoms of West Nile Virus vary from mild feelings of discomfort to acute symptoms that develop over a period of three to fourteen days once a person is bitten.
To find out more information about West Nile Virus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, visit http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/index.htm
Wired Health ReporterCDC expert