West Nile Virus

June 22, 2016

Elder Care in Westchester NY

June 26 through July 2 is National Mosquito Control Week. This is the week set aside each year to encourage people to find out more about how they can control mosquitos in their home environment. While you are making changes in your parent’s lawn and summertime activities to help control mosquitoes and prevent bites, however, it is also important to keep in mind the potential risks that these bites can carry.

Most mosquito bites are harmless. They have little to no feeling when they occur and heal on their own without any form of intervention. Others, however, contain an infection called West Nile Virus that is transmitted into the person receiving the bite when the mosquito bites. Approximately 70 to 80 percent of people who contract West Nile Virus will not show any symptoms. About 20 percent, or 1 in 5, people who contract the virus will experience minor symptoms that resemble other viruses. These symptoms can include:


Body aches




Skin rash



Most of the time this infection is fairly minor and your parent will get over it with only basic self-care. Rarely, however, this condition can become very serious. Less than 1 percent of those who contract West Nile Virus will experience a very serious neurological illness that includes severe symptoms and may lead to permanent damage or even death.

The symptoms of this severe version of the infection include:

Severe headache

High fever


Partial paralysis

Stiff neck


Muscle weakness




These symptoms could indicate serious conditions including meningitis or encephalitis. If you notice that your parent is suffering from these symptoms after getting bitten by a mosquito it is important to get them medical attention as quickly as possible so that they can get on the course of treatment that is right for their needs.


Preventing mosquito bites in the first place is the best way that you can protect your aging parent from the effects of West Nile Virus or other infections that can be caused by these little summer blood suckers. Ways that you can help prevent mosquito bites or that your parent can avoid these bites with the help of an elder care provider include:

Wear light-colored clothing. Mosquitos are more attracted to dark colors and will cause more bites to those who wear dark colors.

Cover the skin. The less skin that is exposed, the less likely your parent is to suffer from a mosquito bite. Encourage lightweight, breathable clothing that covers as much skin as possible while still keeping them cool.

Use bug repellant. Even if your parent is wearing clothing that covers most of the skin, they should still wear bug repellant. This will keep the bugs from buzzing around them and will keep them from getting into their clothes and biting them. If you are concerned about pesticides and harsh chemicals getting into your parent’s body through their thinner skin, choose a natural product that utilizes botanicals to repel pests rather than one that relies on chemical agents.

If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Westchester, NY, contact Star One Home Care and Medical Staffing at 718-733-2222 or 914-362-0899.  Call today!


Source:  https://www.cdc.gov/westnile/

Patricia Coffie, RN, BSN, MFA

Patricia Coffie, RN, BSN, MFA

Director of Client Services at Star One Home Care
Patricia Coffie, RN, BSN, MFA is Director of Client Services & Director of Phoenix Nurse Aide Training Center. Before assuming the post in 2012, Patricia was the Director or Nursing & Service Delivery at WRC for 3 years where she was the strategic lead for nursing and services to members.

Patricia started her nursing career 19 years ago at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and research institution in New York City, and since then has gained experience in Adult Intensive Care Units (ICU) , Pediatric Care (PICU ), Operating Room (OR) , mental health and community settings. She later moved into director of nursing roles, where she obtained extensive experience in leading and developing the nursing profession. She also pioneered good partnership working with other health care organizations, as well as social services, and the wider community.
Patricia Coffie, RN, BSN, MFA

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