The warm weather also brings something else apart from sun and flowers – mosquitoes. The problem with them is that they can infect people with several diseases. In Tulsa, health officials began trapping and testing mosquitoes for West Nile. These operations started on May 1st.
The monitoring process started earlier this year, due to the warm and wet weather. This year was warmer than usual, so mosquitoes appeared before they were expected. In the last two years, health officials have detected West Nile during the first monitoring tests.
“In 2015 and 2016, mosquitoes in the first round came up positive,” he said. “That wasn’t typical. In 2014, it was in mid-June, and in 2013, it was late June.”
Because of these results, they decided to set up the first traps on Monday. The process goes on like this. After the mosquitoes are trapped, the officials take them to the lab, where they test them for West Nile, Zika, or other viruses. This type of monitoring started back in the 1970s.
An interesting fact about these diseases is that birds can catch them, too. In fact, they might be the one which transmit the viruses. Culex genus mosquitoes are the ones that carry the West Nile virus, while those from the Aedes genus get infected with Zika and yellow fever.
Last year, more than 35 people contracted West Nile, but no deaths were recorded in Oklahoma. The worst years for the state were 2003, 2007, and 2012, when this virus made many victims. However, no reported cases of locally contracted Zika were present. Only people who traveled in other countries got infected with the disease.
West Nile disease
This condition doesn’t show any specific symptoms in 70 percent of the cases. However, one in 5 people might develop fever, joint pains, rashes, diarrhea, and headache. People who contract the disease usually recover completely, but they may experience weakness for a few weeks.
Less than 1 percent of people might suffer from complications. They can develop serious neurological illnesses, like meningitis or encephalitis. These might have symptoms such as disorientation, neck stiffness, high fever, and paralysis.
Unfortunately, there is no available treatment for West Nile. However, those cases which render complications are rare, and most of the patients recover without any problems.
Image source: Wikipedia