News / Health

West Nile Surge Keeps Exterminator Busy

West Nile Surge Keeps Exterminator Busyi
|| 0:00:00
X
Faiza Elmasry
October 15, 2012 2:46 PM
The surge in West Nile cases in the United States is keeping one pest control company in Virginia busy. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.

West Nile Surge Keeps Exterminator Busy

Faiza Elmasry
Four years ago, the mosquitoes around Virginia resident Stephanie Sample’s house and neighborhood were voracious.

“They would get into the car and before you could shut the car doors," Sample says. "We would be driving and getting bitten by mosquitoes.”

So she hired the Mosquito Squad to spray her yard. Damien Sanchez, who owns the pest control company, says the chemical spray not only kills mosquitoes, but has a long-term repellent effect as well.

Since he started his company five years ago, Sanchez says the demand for his services has increased considerably, especially this year.

Aided by a mild winter and rainy spring, West Nile disease has been confirmed in 48 U.S. states.
"Sales-wise, we’ve increased sales 10 times,” Sanchez says.

That doesn’t surprise mosquito expert Jorges Arias, a supervisor at the Fairfax County Health Department in Virginia.

“The CDC [Centers for Disease Control] has reported over 3,100 cases in the U.S.," Arias says. "We have had over 130 fatalities so far.”

Most people infected with West Nile have no symptoms and recover completely. About 20 percent get headaches, muscle pain and fever.

“Then a percentage of that 20 percent could develop what we call neuroinvasive disease, it's either encephalitis or meningitis," Arias says. "Then these are much more serious. These people can go into coma. Then there is a certain percentage of these people that do die.”

The entomologist speaks from experience. Arias contracted West Nile last year and was in a coma for six days. He came out of it with a neurological problem: he couldn’t sit up or walk.

“I received therapy for six months and then it took me four months to be able to walk again," he says, "and I’m here walking.”

Arias believes raising awareness about the disease is essential to preventing it. His office prepares and distributes dozens of publications showing people how to protect themselves and their family from West Nile.

“Wear an insect repellent. Wear long, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing, because mosquitoes like dark clothing," he says. "Eliminate anything with water around your house. If you can’t eliminate it, treat it.”

That's because mosquitoes breed in standing water. And that means the mosquito control industry will likely stay very busy as the threat of West Nile Disease in the United States continues.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid