The CDC says at least 17 people have West Nile virus – here’s how to differentiate symptoms from COVID-19

According to the CDC, 17 cases of West Nile virus disease among people have been reported to the agency. In some cases, the virus can cause flu-like symptoms similar to COVID-19 symptoms. (Photo: Getty Image)

The West Nile virus is on the rise, with human cases being reported in several counties across America before the season. The virus usually spreads when a person is bitten by an infected mosquito, according to the CDC. In some cases, infected people may exhibit symptoms that are similar to the flu-like symptoms of COVID-19, making it difficult to distinguish the two diseases separately.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 17 human cases of West Nile virus have so far been reported to the agency, with the first two confirmed cases of the season in Los Angeles County, as well as others reported in Texas Cases are also included. Tarrant County, as well as “a possible human case” in Travis County) and Florida (including Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counters). According to the CDC, an estimated 958 people were infected with the West Nile virus in the US last year and 54 people died.

“Most people who are infected with the virus – about 80 percent – don’t develop any symptoms whatsoever,” Dr. Paul Owner is the clinical director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Johns Hopkins Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Yahoo Life tells. “About 20 percent can develop flu-like illness [also known as West Nile fever] It is probably indistinguishable from COVID-19. They may have headaches, fever, muscle aches, gastrointestinal symptoms. [vomiting and diarrhea], And swelling of the lymph glands. “

According to the CDC, the West Nile virus can cause skin rash on the chest, abdomen and back. While some coronavirus patients also report rashes – in particular, on their toes – this is not considered a common symptom of COVID-19, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

With several diseases sharing similar symptoms, Overreter says, “People are assuming they have COVID-19 instead of the West Nile virus.” It is understandable that there are more than 4.6 million cases of coronovirus in the US, while only a handful of West Nile virus cases so far this season. “Statistically, it is probably true that it is COVID in these cases,” he says. “But this is not always the case.”

Both diseases can cause serious health problems. According to the Mayo Clinic, approximately 1 in every 150 people develops a severe West Nile virus infection, which affects the central nervous system, causing inflammation in the brain (spinal corditis) or the membrane surrounding the brain and spinal cord (meningitis). it occurs. Those symptoms – which require immediate medical attention – are high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, disorientation or confusion, tremors and muscle weakness according to the Mayo Clinic. “They can also be a seizure,” Auwerter says.

Although more research is needed, COVID-19 affects the nervous system, causing neurological symptoms, such as “headache, dizziness, reduced alertness, difficulty concentrating, odor and taste disorders, seizures, stroke. , Weakness and muscle pain “. Published in for a June 2020 study Annual of neurology.

But, as Oweter points out, “COVID-19 is a [contagious] Respiratory disease – West Nile is not. Therefore unlike the coronavirus, the West Nile virus does not spread by coughing, sneezing or touching according to the CDC. A blood test can confirm a West Nile virus infection, while a nasal swab test can confirm whether a patient is infected with the coronary virus.

With COVID-19, age and other health issues play a role: people 50 and older, as well as those with certain health conditions (such as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney disease), develop severe Chances are high. The form of the West Nile virus, notes Ovator. According to the CDC, approximately one in 10 people with this severe neurological form die.

There are currently no vaccines for the West Nile virus or coronavirus, although several potential vaccines are working for the latter.

Meanwhile, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of contracting either virus. The CDC insisted on wearing masks in public settings, social disturbances, and regular hand washing for 20 minutes (or at least 60 percent using a hand sanitizer with alcohol) to help prevent the spread of coronovirus is.

For West Nile virus, experts recommend keeping mosquitoes at bay using a bug repellent registered with the Environmental Protection Agency, such as DEET or Picaridin, while outdoors, as well as wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts. Since most mosquitoes lay eggs in water, it is important to remove any standing water found in “tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flower pot sauces, or garbage containers” outside your home, according to the CDC. is.

for Latest Coronavirus news and updates, Follow along According to experts, those over 60 and those who are immunocompromised are at greatest risk. If you have any questions, please see CDC‘Sand Who is it Resource guide.

Read more from Yahoo Life:

Daily lifestyle and wellness news delivered to your inbox? Register here For Yahoo Life’s newspaper.

Source Link