Dangerous virus flying around Santa Ana

Seasonal weather leads to serious outbreak


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Standing pools of water are homes to potential disease carriers.

Daniel Salazar , Staff Writer

A dangerous outbreak is occurring in Santa Ana. Recent local news reports stated that there have been an increasing number of West Nile Virus cases. West Nile is spread by mosquitoes that makes 20% of infected victims show symptoms. West Nile could have serious consequences on its victims, causing deaths to 10%-12% of people who start showing symptoms. This disease is further fueled by standing water as well as unfiltered pool water.

“Prevention is necessary,” said Erick Shearer from Orange County Public Health. He explained that it is important for people to try and prevent the spread of the West Nile Virus by limiting the spread of mosquitoes. Mosquitoes can spread very quickly with the proper conditions.

Shearer explained how this can be done. The West Nile Virus can be prevented in ways like getting rid of standing water and to also filter pool water. This is highly recommended as a lot of mosquitoes love standing water in order to lay their eggs, suggested Shearer. Female mosquitoes can lay up to 300 eggs at a time according to Megacatch, a mosquito trap manufacturing company.

Sophomore Jesse Camacho said, “No, I don’t know what it is. It’s probably a disease.” 

West Nile is actually a virus, but it can also rarely lead to serious diseases, an article from Healthymepa stated. Most of the time West Nile would just cause mild symptoms to those who are infected. “Using sprays and stuff against them helps,” Camacho stated. Bug repellent might prevent being bitten.  

More information was provided by Shearer on the effects of the West Nile Virus. “Most symptoms usually lasts 2 – 14 days,” said Shearer. Shearer explained that these symptoms include fevers, headaches, body aches, and more. Although these symptoms could occur, when asked if people should be scared of it, he stated “No, only 20% infected show symptoms.” 20% is a low chance for mild symptoms and the chance of catching the more serious symptoms like neurological damage, meningitis, and even vision loss is even lower. Shearer stated that the public should be aware of the causes, but not let it affect the everyday lives of people.

“There is no known medicine to cure it yet and more research is going on to see the full effects and how West Nile works,” said Shearer.