Saturday, June 23, 2018

How to avoid bug-spread West Nile, Lyme, bubonic plague and also hantavirus

The bugs of late summer are biting. The nation is on track toward its worst West Nile virus season since the disease hit America's shores in 1999, health officials say. So far, 1,405 serious illnesses and 118 deaths from West Nile have been reported across the country. Up to 10,000 people who stayed in tent cabins at Yosemite National Park are at risk of hantavirus. A second case of bubonic plague in the West has been confirmed and scientists fear that a bumper crop of ticks could spread Lyme disease, the nation's most common bug-borne malady. Yet the risk of getting these scary-sounding diseases is small. With the right precautions, you can still enjoy spending time outdoors and fight much more common threats to your health — obesity and too little exercise.

Associated Press

Hantavirus

How it's spread: Touching or breathing air particles of urine or droppings from certain types of mice or rats, especially deer mice.

Symptoms: Develop one to six weeks later and can include flulike symptoms that progress into a dry cough, headache, nausea and vomiting, then shortness of breath.

Where it occurs: Anywhere in the United States; recent cases were in Yosemite National Park in California.

Prevention: Keep rodents out of your home; carefully clean any nests with disinfectant or bleach and water.

Lyme disease

How it's spread: ticks.

Symptoms: fever, headache, fatigue and a bull's-eye rash. Untreated, it can cause joint, heart and nervous system problems.

Where it occurs: Northeast and mid-Atlantic coastal states; north central states, mostly Wisconsin and Minnesota; the West Coast, especially northern California.

Prevention: Use bug repellents with 20 percent or more DEET; when in the woods, walk in the center of trails, avoiding brush; shower soon after coming inside and check your body, hair and clothes for ticks.

(Also helps prevent other tick-borne diseases such as ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia and babesiosis).

West Nile

How it's spread: mosquitoes

Symptoms: Most people have none; some develop flulike symptoms; a very small percentage suffer neurological symptoms.

Where it occurs: Nearly all states; this year, Texas has been hardest-hit.

Prevention: Eliminate standing water that can breed mosquitoes; use insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus.

Bubonic plague

How it's spread: Contact with infected fleas, rodent or cat; prairie dogs in Colorado can carry it.

Symptoms: Sudden fever, headache, chills, weakness and swollen lymph nodes.

Where it occurs: Only about half a dozen cases occur each year across the country, mostly in the Southwest.

Prevention: Avoid contact with rodents; limit brush, rock and wood piles and rodent breeding areas near the home.

Comments

The Latest: Explosion at large Ethiopia rally for new PM

The Latest: Explosion at rally for Ethiopia's new prime minister; 'few' reported injured
Updated: 1 hour ago

Explosion at rally for Ethiopia's new prime minister; state broadcaster reports 'few' injured

Explosion at rally for Ethiopia's new prime minister; state broadcaster reports 'few' injured
Updated: 1 hour ago

Ethiopians rally in support of new, reformist prime minister

Ethiopians by the thousands rally in support of new, reformist prime minister
Updated: 2 hours ago

Report: US to send caskets to NKorea to return war remains

South Korean media say the U.S. military plans to send 215 caskets to North Korea through a border village so that the North could begin the process of returning the remains of U.S. soldiers who have been missing since the 1950-53 Korean War
Updated: 2 hours ago
Beyond World Cup: Advocates call attention to Russian abuses

Beyond World Cup: Advocates call attention to Russian abuses

Amid cheers and jubilation at the World Cup, human rights officials want to draw the world's attention to abuses in Russia
Updated: 2 hours ago
Beyond World Cup: Advocates call attention to Russian abuses

Beyond World Cup: Advocates call attention to Russian abuses

Amid cheers and jubilation at the World Cup, human rights officials want to draw the world's attention to abuses in Russia
Updated: 2 hours ago
Beyond World Cup: Advocates call attention to Russian abuses

Beyond World Cup: Advocates call attention to Russian abuses

Amid cheers and jubilation at the World Cup, human rights officials want to draw the world's attention to abuses in Russia
Updated: 2 hours ago

AP Top News at 2:28 a.m. EDT

AP Top News at 2:28 a.m. EDT
Updated: 2 hours ago
Machado hits 2-run HR in 15th as Orioles beat Braves 10-7

Machado hits 2-run HR in 15th as Orioles beat Braves 10-7

Machado hits 2-run homer in 15th inning as Orioles beat Braves 10-7
Updated: 2 hours ago
Ex-S. Korean premier Kim Jong-pil, spy agency founder, dies

Ex-S. Korean premier Kim Jong-pil, spy agency founder, dies

Kim Jong-pil, who founded South Korea's spy agency and whose political skills earned him two tenures as prime minister, under his dictator boss and later under a man his agency once kidnapped, has died
Updated: 2 hours ago