It might be fall, but we’re not out of the woods yet. Virginia just broke the record for the most human West Nile virus cases ever.
With an abundance of rain comes the mosquitoes. And not just any mosquitoes, apparently — West Nile virus-ridden mosquitoes.
The rainy summer and unusual heat back in June have combined to give Virginia an unhealthy dose of West Nile virus in October. There have been 38 cases reported around the state, which sets a record.
Infected mosquitoes spread the West Nile virus through their bites — causing achiness, rashes, gastrointestinal distress, and in severe cases, fever, seizures, or paralysis. Some people don’t experience symptoms at all, but evidently, 38 Virginians have experienced bad enough symptoms for their virus case to be confirmed in 2018 alone.
Here’s a breakdown of cases by district:
Courtesy of VDH
According to the Virginia Department of Health, mosquito season ends October 31, so until then, make sure you wear long sleeves and pants, as well as insect repellant. Also, keep your windows and doors closed (even though it’s tempting to enjoy those lovely fall breezes), and make sure there isn’t any standing water on your property (breeding grounds for mosquitoes).
For more helpful information regarding West Nile Virus, click here.