It is that time of the year again, when we are so happy to have warm days and nights.
However, this is the time to make sure you are aware of ticks and mosquitoes.
Ticks carry approximately 15 varieties of bacterial and viral diseases that are not Lyme disease.
Certain ticks have also tested positive for West Nile Virus.
Proper treatment would mean being tested for all and being treated for the specific disease.
I urge pet owners to wear gloves or try not handling any ticks you remove from your pets.
I also urge you to make note of tick bites, date and time.
If you save the tick, it may also be helpful identifying specific information, helpful to diagnosis and treatment.
I was diagnosed with West Nile Virus approximately three years ago.
I knew it came from a mosquito bite that I received in Waupaca County, because I had not left the county during the incubation period.
The symptoms began as flu-like symptoms, which included GI disturbances, to a feeling of almost death in three days.
I had a headache that was beyond anything I had ever experienced.
My eyesight was dimmed. I had trouble focusing. I had trouble standing for any length of time, trouble staying awake.
I was told by others that my color was a pale green.
When you hear the term: “hit by a Mack truck,” certainly summed it up.
I was lucky. I was given fluids and medications to treat the headache.
I insisted on a CAT scan of the brain, because of the headache.
I was sent home that night. I did not have seizures. I am grateful I did not progress to coma, as some victims.
My acute illness subsided in a week.
I was still feeling pretty weak. I lost weight.
Since then, I have been involved in three Facebook West Nile support groups.
The level of acute illness varied from flu-like symptoms to coma to death of loved ones.
We all have done extensive research.
There is stil a lot of unknown about the lasting effects of this virus. I say I was lucky because I did not progress to a coma.
Certain research shows that the virus carried can have differing strengths.
I urge you all not to take this lightly.
In the year 2012, there were 5,674 newly reported cases, and 288 deaths.
Some of the people on the WNV sites say they suspect their loved one might have died from the virus, although not sure because they were not tested by their doctors.
However, they became ill and progressed to coma quickly.
Please report all dead birds to the county for testing.
California is reporting Bald Eagle WNV deaths.
Do not handle them.
It is recommended that you wear gloves when involved with bird feeders and bird baths.
Wear protective clothing to protect you from ticks and mosquitoes. Wear some sort of repellent.
DEET is still the best, however, Avon’s Skin So Soft (the original) is still found to be effective against mosquitoes.
There are natural repellents. They just need to be applied more often.
Quickly remove any stagnant water from your yard.
Monitor your pets and children for any symptoms after mosquito bites.
Stay educated and up to date on any latest information.
I hope this letter helps prevent anyone from ever getting (what I call) this miserable virus.
Or, if you begin to feel poorly after a mosquito bite, go to your doctor or Urgent Care and insist on a West Nile Virus test.
The symptoms appear 5-15 days after the bite.