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According to experts, the symptoms of West Nile virus are initially similar to COVID-19.

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According to the CDC, more than 30 states report West Nile virus infections in humans, birds, or mosquitoes. The initial symptoms of West Nile fever are similar to other viruses and colds. These days, it means it’s hard to distinguish from COVID-19.

In Los Angeles, reducing mosquitoes is a big job. Greater LA County Vector Control District serves nearly 6 million people in 35 cities. So far this year, more than 230 mosquitoes have been tested positive for West Nile fever.

“Every year, our mosquito season seems to be getting longer and warmer,” said Anais Medinadias, spokeswoman for the LA County Vector Management District. “Now the mosquito season is from March to the end of October, sometimes the beginning of November.”

West Nile fever has killed two people and more than 30 in Los Angeles County, officials said. They reached people and became creative to inform them of their own backyard threats.

They created a TikTok dance video, and Diaz said, “We’re looking at social media trends to see what’s getting people’s attention.”

One of the TikTok videos released by the Diaz organization was a parody of one of Lady Gaga’s famous songs. The mosquito is in control of the Lady Gaga remake.

“I brushed TikTok and threw a small video of a sponge, because of Aedes aegypti, which most people don’t know, but they put eggs around the container and are the best to get rid of those eggs. It’s by scraping the container off, “Dias said.

California In 2020, more than 90 human cases, more than 270 dead birds and 2,300 mosquitoes were sampled.

“Mosquitoes don’t respect city boundaries, district boundaries, or county boundaries, so you really need to think about it across geographic boundaries,” said an epidemiologist at the LA County Public Health Service. Dr. Aiman ​​Halai said.

Public health officials say this is a problem that affects everyone everywhere. Dr. Harai specializes in infectious diseases such as West Nile fever and vector-borne infections.

“Symptoms range from mild to severe,” said Dr. Harai. “Most of the cases we receive are serious because the person goes to the hospital for a test.”

When asked how to distinguish between West Nile fever and COVID-19 symptoms, Dr. Harai said: “Early, it can resemble West Nile fever, body aches, non-specific fever, body aches, and fatigue that can occur with West Nile fever. Nile fever and COVID-19 . “

But the real difference is when the symptoms get worse, says Dr. Harai.

“COVID-19 is primarily a respiratory virus,” said Dr. Harai. “It affects the respiratory system, which causes coughing and shortness of breath, and in severe illnesses affects pulmonary infections or pneumonia, which is very different from the severe illnesses caused by West Nile virus.”

She says that serious symptoms of West Nile fever include confusion, blurred vision, drowsiness, and weakness of limbs because they affect the nervous system. Mild cases of West Nile fever are often undiagnosed. That is, there are far more cases than we know. West Nile fever is not contagious. Only available from mosquitoes. This is another big difference when compared to the coronavirus. However, those at risk belong to the same category.

“Our elderly people, people with underlying medical problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic heart and lung conditions are the people we need to protect and take precautions for both of these viruses. Those who need to be prioritized, “said Dr. Harai.

In the case of the coronavirus, it means wearing a mask and keeping a social distance. For West Nile fever, that means getting rid of all the water standing anywhere in your property, checking your window screen, and wearing an insect repellent spray.

“Unfortunately, this is our new reality that we must wear repellents and use the active ingredients recommended by the CDC and EPA, the oils of DEET, picaridin and lemon eucalyptus,” Diaz said. Told.

As with the coronavirus, authorities urge people to play their part. Controlling mosquitoes is a community effort and everyone’s job.

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