Wednesday, July 18, 2012
West Nile Virus Has Reached Epidemic Level In North Texas
I had no idea til this morning that the number of incidents of West Nile Virus cases in North Texas has now reached an epidemic level.
Dallas recorded the first West Nile Virus death of the year, in America, within the past week.
West Nile Virus comes in varying levels of seriousness, with the most serious being the neuro-invasive virus version, which attacks the body's nervous system.
When I was reading about this mosquito caused epidemic I thought to myself that I do not recollect having a single mosquito bite all my years in Texas.
So, what do I see on my face upon my return from the pool this morning? Well, it looks like a mosquito bite.
I do not remember a spring, summer or fall, in Washington, where I did not get mosquito bites.
I remember my first year in Texas, being in a Home Depot, in March, appalled at an invasion of what we called waterbugs. These round bugs that were attracted to light and sort of killed themselves ramming into the light, leaving a pile of waterbug corpses on the ground.
The lady at Home Depot told me the bug situation gets much worse as we get closer to summer.
I was mortified. Thinking the Texas bug invasion was going to be much worse than the annual insect invasion in Washington.
Well, I was relieved that, except for a plague of locusts, the insects in Texas are not as annoying as those in Washington. Except for cockroaches. I never saw a cockroach til I moved to Texas. But, I find cockroaches to be the most entertaining insect I have ever met. And they don't bite.
In Washington, in the Puget Sound lowlands, you would get plagued by annoying horse flies, in addition to mosquitoes and other flying biters.
Til the first freeze of the coming winter you can not go hiking in the Cascade High Country without covering yourself with bug spray, lest you find yourself covered with biting deer flies, whose bite hurts real bad.
I just checked the insect bite I got on my face in the pool this morning. It seems to have faded. I don't think it was a mosquito bite from a West Nile Virus Culex species of mosquito.
The majority of people who get bit by a West Nile Virus carrying mosquito develop no symptoms. People over 50, with weak immune systems, and people like Gar the Texan, who are prone to attacks of the vapors, are at risk of developing the disease.