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Family of four contracts West Nile virus– and their lives changed forever

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Family of four contracts West Nile virus– and their lives changed forever

The warmer, wetter weather is bringing along something we don’t like– mosquitoes.

We spoke to an expert who says you may be at a greater risk of getting bitten than you may realize, and share the unique story of a family who all contracted West Nile and ways you can protect yourself.

The odds of becoming seriously ill after contracting West Nile Virus are about 1 in 150.

The time of day you’re outside, what you’re wearing and even your blood type can make you more at risk.

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“There’s different proteins in the saliva. When they bite you, certain ones interact with the different types of blood in a different way. If you have a Type ‘O’ blood, it says that you could be at twice as likely more to be bitten than some of the other blood types in that area,” said Travis Prochaska, crop protection specialist, NDSU Research Extension Center.

And how your body reacts to the bite, can be completely different to how I react.

“Some people get more redness, sometimes it swells, sometimes you almost get this welt that develops. That is an allergic reaction to the protein found within the saliva,” Prochaska said.If possible, avoid going outside early in the morning or at dusk when mosquitoes are most active. But if you have to go outdoors, wear a bug spray that contains DEET.“It is believed 80 percent of people who come in contact with the West Nile mosquito may not ever realize they have it. Someone might just have a small cough for a couple days. For the other 20 percent of the people, it can be very impactful,” said […]

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