West Nile Virus Spreading In Massachusetts Mosquitoes

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The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) announced today that several additional samples of West Nile Virus (WNV) were identified this past week. WNV activity has now been confirmed in many Massachusetts counties. Additional WNV infected mosquitoes were reported from the communities of Boston, Needham and Reading. West Nile Virus was also found in birds from areas throughout the state including Fall River, Reading, Saugus, Natick, Worcester and Chicopee.

“We are finding WNV throughout Massachusetts. There is significant activity in the greater Boston area; as well as communities in the Worcester and Springfield areas,” said DPH State Epidemiologist Dr. Al DeMaria. “People should consider the virus as being established in Massachusetts for the summer. The warm, wet summer is continuing to support mosquito populations and allowing the virus to spread.”

In 2007, there were six human cases of WNV in Massachusetts. While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe disease. WNV is usually spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito.

WNV positive bird and mosquito results from 2008 can be found on the Arbovirus Surveillance Information web page at westnile.ashtonweb.com.

People have an important role to play in protecting themselves and their loved ones from illnesses caused by mosquitoes.

Avoid Mosquito Bites

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* Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours. The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning.

* Clothing Can Help Reduce Mosquito Bites. Wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.

* Apply Insect Repellent when outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] or IR3535 according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.

Mosquito-Proof Your Home

* Drain Standing Water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or discarding items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change water in birdbaths frequently.

* Install or Repair Screens. Keep mosquitoes outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.

Report Dead Birds

* Dead crows or blue jays may be a sign that WNV is circulating among the birds and mosquitoes in your area. Call 1-866-MASS WNV to report a dead bird. By reporting dead birds, you can play an important role in monitoring WNV.

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Comments

GenoMed, a genomics-based Disease Management company in St. Louis, has had encouraging results treating West Nile virus encephalitis since 2003. We’ve had 82% treatment success rate in people (23 of 28 improved), 75% in horses (6 of 8 survived), and 50% in birds (6 of 12 survived). Our first 8 human WNV patients were published in a peer-reviewed medical journal in 2004 (1). This is sufficient for our treatment to officially exist in both the medical and legal senses, regardless of what the CDC does (or doesn’t) say. We’ve seen that the earlier the treatment is begun, the better the outcome, so public education is absolutely critical—literally, the difference between life and death. Anybody who wants to download our WNV trial protocol can do so for free at any time by clicking on the "West Nile trial" link on our company’s homepage at www.genomed.com. Dave Moskowitz MD CEO & Chief Medical Officer GenoMed, Inc. (Ticker symbol GMED on OTC Pink Sheets) www.genomed.com “The public health company™” 1. Moskowitz DW, Johnson FE. The central role of angiotensin I-converting enzyme in vertebrate pathophysiology. Curr Top Med Chem. 2004;4(13):1433-54. PMID: 15379656 (For PDF file, click on paper #6 at: http://www.genomed.com/index.cfm?action=investor&drill=publications)