West Nile Virus
West Nile appeared in the US in 1999, and cases have now been reported from every one of the continental states except upper New England. It is rarely fatal – in fact 80% of people infected show no symptoms. However, in about ½% “develop severe illness. The symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.”
Prevention of mosquitoes by eliminating their breeding places – any standing water - is the most effective intervention; aerial spraying for adults is very inefficient.
For more information, see the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Publication developed by researchers in Penn State's College of Ag Sciences: Common Urban Pests