There are no specific treatments for West Nile virus, which was first identified in the United States in 1999.
The greatest risk for infection with West Nile virus typically occurs from June through September, with cases peaking in mid-August. But changes in the weather, the number of infected mosquitoes and human behavior can all influence when and where outbreaks occur, the CDC said.
Although most people with mild cases of West Nile virus will recover on their own, the CDC recommends that anyone who develops symptoms should see their doctor right away.
The best way to protect yourself from West Nile virus is to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes, which can pick up the disease from infected birds. The CDC recommends the following steps to protect yourself:
- Use insect repellents when outside.
- Wear long sleeves and pants from dawn to dusk.
- Don't leave standing water outside in open containers, such as flowerpots, buckets and kiddie pools.
- Install or repair windows and door screens.
- Use air conditioning when possible.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more information on West Nile virus.
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