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Who's At Risk?



Any resident of an area where virus activity has been identified (all counties in Ohio) are at risk ofSeniors on walk getting West Nile encephalitis.  Persons over 50 years of age have the highest risk of acquiring the severe forms of the disease.  It is unknown if immunocompromised persons are at increased risk for West Nile virus disease.

Humans aren't the only ones who can get the West Nile virus however.  The virus is a threat to some animals, too, especially to wild birds and horses.  About 40 percent of he horses that developed encephalitis from the West Nile virus died during the 1999 outbreak that originated in New York City.  The West Nile virus has been shown to infect dogs, cats, bats, chipmunks, skunks, squirrels, and domestic birds and rabbits.  To date, the virus has not often caused illnesses in these animals.

Pet owners should NOT use human repellants that contain DEET on animals.  Some animals are more sensitive than people to direct application of DEET products, making their use potentially harmful.


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Prepared for BIOG 154 Microscopic World -- Dr. Harry Kestler
Lorain County Community College -- Last modified: 04/18/03 -- Don't click here.