How to eliminate possible exposure to mosquitoes during West Nile virus (WNV) season.

West Nile virus season kicked off to an ealry start this year, which lead to the largest outbreak in nearly 10 years. Most West Nile virus (WNV) exposures in the United States occur from July through October, with a peak during the first two weeks of August. Texas has reported 1,355 cases of West Nile illnesses, including 52 deaths as of September 28, making this the largest outbreak of West Nile virus in Texas since 2003. The virus has been appearing in many parts of the country, but almost half of the cases are in Texas and the numbers are rising. Where has West Nile virus been and where is it going? West Nile virus is commonly found in Africa, Eastern Europe, West Asia, and the Middle East. It was first detected in the United States in 1999, during which time there was an outbreak in New York. By mid-June of 2002, it had traveled westward to Texas. Since then, it has been reported in mosquitoes, birds (such as blue jays and crows), horses, and humans. There has also been a continued westward movement of the virus. What are the symptoms of West Nile virus? Most people infected with WNV feel no symptoms. A minority develop meningitis or encephalitis, which can be fatal. Symptoms include fever, weakness, headache, and altered mental status. Skin rash, conjunctivitis, abdominal pain, cough, dyspnea, and diarrhea may also be present. Mosquitoes are no longer just a seasonal outdoor nuisance. They’re a public health threat. Below are some guidelines every pest management professional should be aware of to help reduce the risks of contracting West...