Smack ’em Dead!

On one bright September morning in 2004, I looked down on my right ring finger and discovered a bite. My eyes flashed up at my husband. He knows me so well. “DON’T PANIC,” he said, “it’s only a mosquito bite.”
 

Why would I panic over a little mosquito bite?
 

There was an outbreak of West Nile virus.
 

Okay, I told myself. He’s right. It’s just a little bite and it’s probably like so many of the other mosquito bites that I’ve received in my life. For some reason, those little suckers just love me. And why not? I’m a sweet kind of girl. 🙂 So I went on with my day. Ran some errands, caught up with a friend over an iced Mocha Latte at a nearby Starbucks, then went home and started dinner and it was all forgotten by the time I went to bed that evening.
 

The next day I was tired. I mean, dragging-my-butt-around-tired. I tried getting on my rebounder to exercise thinking this would help. Get that blood circulating Karen! You’ll feel much better! But all through the day it was like watching myself in slow motion.
 

Then came the next morning. And when I woke up, oh boy did I ever take notice. Why? Because I literally couldn’t move. I couldn’t turn over in bed. I was stiff as a corpse. Now by this time, it was Friday.
 

With a fever, I forced myself with great effort to get out of bed and was rewarded with a horrific headache. Every beat of my heart pounded through my skull. Something was up and I had the funny feeling that it had something to do with that blasted mosquito. But I still tried not to PANIC.
 

I grabbed the phone and called the doctor. At first, I had a funny feeling that they wouldn’t believe my suspicions. Oh no, it’s just wacko Karen calling. Sure you think you have West Nile. Uh-huh. “Well, if you’re not feeling better by Monday,” they said, “call us and we’ll fit you in. And if you get worse over the weekend, go to the emergency room.”
 

You mean if I’m not dead by Monday. LOL! Ah, I was in for a fun weekend.
 

Well, you have to know that I am into all things natural. It is not in my nature to run to the doctor or to the hospital for every little thing. So I got my own arsenal of viral fighting goodies out and started my own battle. But as the weekend progressed, I could tell, this was no ordinary bug I was fighting. I was sick. Very sick.
 

I made it through the weekend and bright and early Monday morning I called the doctor and they told me to come in right away. My husband took off work and brought me in about mid-morning. We both sat across from the doctor as I told him about the bite on my finger and my symptoms. My doctor told us that they would run the necessary tests.
 

When the test results came back, sure enough, I had West Nile Virus. But I not only had West Nile Virus, but Acute West Nile Virus with Spinal Meningitis. The fluid in my entire spine froze from the base of my neck down into the bottom of my spine. Oh yeah, when I get something, I don’t mess around. Apparently, I was bit by a very sick mosquito that bit a very sick bird.
 

You see, because West Nile is a virus, there isn’t much that doctors or hospitals can do. They can’t give you an antibiotic. It’s not a bacterial infection. I have to tell you, this is when I thanked God that I knew my doctor. (An MD/H)
 

“I know how to treat it,” he said. “I am currently treating another patient and he is doing very well.” As you can imagine, those were words I will never forget. He started treatment that very day. And for four days a week over the next four weeks, I had to come into his office to get treatment.
 

I have to tell you, at first, it was a close call. My doctor wasn’t sure I was even going to make it. My husband, two sons and sister watched over me day and night for days on end. I thought I was going to die. Though the aftereffects from the virus didn’t leave me unscathed, I am so grateful for every day of my life since I pulled through.
 

So why do I bother to bring this up?
 

With good reason. It seems that some of you are at threat. Just last month, officials in New York City said that West Nile virus has been found on Staten Island, one of the city’s five boroughs. And more than 80 percent of all reported cases this year are from six states: Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Dakota and California, with almost half of all cases reported from Texas.
 

Texas reports that it is battling an outbreak of this wicked virus, with at least 11 deaths (A total of 26 deaths in the U.S.) and another 381 reported sick (A total of 1100 cases in the U.S as of today). In fact, Texas is on track to have the most cases of West Nile since the disease first appeared in the state back in 2002. This has forced Dallas Mayor Michael Rawlings to declare a local state of disaster.
 

What will declaring a local state of disaster do?
 

In Phoenix, where I contracted the virus, this meant they started to spray—insecticide. Yes, tanker-trucks drove down residential streets in the wee hours of the night sending a mist of foggy insecticide into the air. But as you know, in Texas they do things in a big way. They’ve chosen to crop dust the entire city of Dallas and its suburbs, except for President Bush’s neighborhood.
 

What can you personally do?
 

First of all, stay indoors while they’re spraying. You would not believe the host of other problems that are caused by direct exposure to insecticide spraying. In addition, the CDC recommends using an insect repellent that contains one of the following ingredients: DEET, picardin, oil of lemon eucalyptus. Personally, I would go with the eucalyptus because, well, it’s natural. But the ingredients suggested by the Environmental Protection Agency provide practical long-lasting protection against mosquito bites.
 

They also suggest wearing long sleeves and pants, or staying indoors, at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active. Mosquitoes breed in standing water, so remove standing water from flower pots, pet dishes, buckets and barrels and children’s wading pools to reduce the chance of transmission.
 

So remember, if you see one of these…


 

Get ‘em before they get you! And Smack ‘em Dead!
 

Here is a link to find out more about the history of the virus and its symptoms :

http://news.yahoo.com/west-nile-related-deaths-confirmed-texas-california-220523524–abc-news-topstories.html
 
 
So what do you think? That might be a loaded question today! 🙂 Yet, how many of you were aware of the West Nile virus or are plagued by those nasty misquitoes? The end of the season is still a few months away. What precautionary measures do you and your family take to guard against this or other viruses? And how is your summer been thus far? I hope that you haven’t been bitten!
 
 
Thank you everyone for dropping by and for all your wonderful comments!
Karen

 
 
 

64 thoughts on “Smack ’em Dead!

  1. Tameri Etherton

    Oh, yikes, Karen! I’m so glad you beat that horrid virus. We had horses around the time you got sick and I was militant about mosquitoes and repellant. I didn’t realize it’s still around, but will make sure we’re more careful. It would’ve been a shame to never get to know you. Thanks for sharing your story to keep us all safe.
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    1. Karen Post author

      Yikes is right Tameri. This is interesting. I think most horse people are more aware of the virus than the general population. But oh how West Nile is nothing to fool around with. Yep, I beat it, but I also took a beating from it. I’ve never been the same since. But I’m still here! So please be careful because it is here in California. Take care Tameri and have a great week! 🙂

      Reply
    1. Karen Post author

      Oh hey Susie, how are you? Don’t worry, you didn’t miss much. The good news is, I’m still here. Thank God. It, the virus, did leave me with some other problems that I won’t get into. But if you are prone to mosquito bites, please do be careful. This West Nile virus infection is very serious and should be taken seriously. That’s why I posted about my experience. Hopefully it will encourage others to get the word out and save a life, you know? Thanks Susie for stopping by. Enjoy your holiday weekend! 🙂

      Reply
  2. Julia

    Yikes! Two cases reported in my state of Oregon this summer. Glad you recovered! What a conundrum. DEET causes problem, spraying causes problems, mosquitoes cause problems. Guess we just have to pick our poison and go with it. I’m with you. Meningitis to be avoided at all costs.
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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Julia! Yikes, is right. I didn’t realize that West Nile had made its way to Oregon. Oh yes, what a conundrum. Chemical spraying is the reason why my husband and I left Phoenix. They just wouldn’t stop after years, and I do mean years of spraying. And it hasn’t helped one bit. I know that you are a naturist. So you can appreciate that it’s the chemical/insecticide companies that have sold the government on this spraying thing. Cities are broke, but they have the money to spray? Really? And now people are sick from the spraying. Conundrum indeed Julia! Thanks for your comment and for stopping by! Always great to see you. Take care! 🙂

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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Lynn! Glad you had a safe trip, although it sounded like an emotional roller-coaster. You have your hands full. Yes, West Nile was pretty scary. And it was a wake up call. Please do be careful out there if you’re prone to mosquito bites. They are in California. Thanks girl for jumping over right away to see me! You take care! 🙂

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  3. Natalie Hartford

    Wow Karen. I am just reading this now and very scary stuff indeed. Thank you so much for opening up and sharing your experience. You’ve really opened my eyes that this is something to take much more seriously than I have in the past.
    So thankful you are still with us and God speed as you continue healing…HUGS!!!!
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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Natalie! Yes, the West Nile virus is not one to be taken lightly. And that’s why I wrote about my experience. And when I read your post yesterday about your camping trip with hubby, I immediately thought of moquitoes. But that’s how my brain works. LOL! I go to straight to panic mode. Yet, if I wasn’t still around, I wouldn’t have met you and everyone else in the Wanaverse! Take care Natalie! 🙂

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  4. Stephanie D

    Thank you for sharing this story with us. I live in Dallas…it is quite scary especially since my little one is 8 and she’s quite tasty to mosquitos…so am I…but when she’s around they tend to bite her instead (grrrr…). She had almost 20 bites from being outside in the evening for 2 minutes in our garage! Fortunately she did not get West Nile, but the bites alone were painful. Glad you recovered and thanks again for sharing. It’s in the news all the time, but nobody has really shared their story.
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    1. Karen Post author

      Oh Stephanie, Dallas was the reason why I wrote this post on West Nile. Yes, it is a bit scary. Your poor little girl is getting eaten up by those nasty suckers. Do be careful. As a suggestion, there are natural remedies on line and in the comments below that will help deter mosquitoes from biting without using chemicals. And remember to stay indoors while they’re spraying. I wish you all the best! 🙂

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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi August! Um, yes, scary stuff indeed! You are so fortunate girl. Those little blood suckers don’t bite my hubby either. But they for some reason just love me. Seriously, I could do without that kind of affection. You bring out a good point. Yes, animals are infected too. Someone below in one of the comments mentioned that they do have a vacine for horses. Not sure about dogs and cats. But apparently we aren’t worth as much as a horse, eh? What is that all about? So keep your sweet puppy indoors and away from those moquitoes! And stay safe August. West Nile is here in California too. Have a great weekend girl and thanks for coming by! 🙂

      Reply
  6. Jennette Marie Powell

    Holy smokes, West Nile Virus is evil! I’ve never known anyone who had it – glad to hear you pulled through, despite the lingering effects.

    And thank you for posting this. Mosquitos carrying WNV have been found in this area, and my husband’s going camping this weekend. He hadn’t thought to buy bug repellent, but he will now.
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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Jennette! Holy smokes is right! And I never knew anyone who had it either. Until me. But with all the worry and threat, I felt it appropriate that I talk about it, because so many of our writer friends live in areas that are plagued by misquitoes and West Nile. Please arm your husband with a bug repellent. Trust me, you or he don’t want this. Take care Jen and have a great week! 🙂

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  7. Mike Schulenberg

    What an awful experience. I’m glad you pulled through. Having recently moved back to Texas after living up north for a long time, I’ve been keeping an eye on this West Nile thing since it appears to be a growing problem around here. Next mosquito I see, I’m totally attacking it with karate or something.
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    1. Karen Post author

      Hey there Mike! Uh, yeah, it was really awful. But hey, I’m still here! My husband isn’t getting rid of me that easy. He probably was the one that let that little mosquito in the house. He wouldn’t have done that on purpose, would he? Hmm? Oh, that’s right. I knew you moved, but had forgotten that it was Texas. Well, I can see that you have prepared yourself for an attack! If karate works for you, so be it. As for me, I’m smacking ‘ those little blood suckers dead! Be safe Mike and thanks for stopping by. It’s great to see you! 🙂

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  8. Pat O'Dea Rosen

    Hi, Karen,
    Aerial spraying to counter West Nile started last night in my town, Houston. The local news covered the event and interviewed a man who survived West Nile but lost most of his eyesight. That virus is evil. I’m glad you survived your ordeal and am sorry you must continue to cope with the aftereffects. Thank you for your post. It reminded me I haven’t been as cautious as usual. I’ve located my mosquito repellent–and will use it. When I see one of the suckers, I’ll say, “This one’s for Karen,” as I smack it.
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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Pat! Oh no, not in your area too! Here’s the thing Pat. While the West Nile virus is evil. And trust me, I know. The flip side to the spraying is that so many people became sick in Phoenix from the insecticides in the air. And if you think about it, more people die from the flu each year than West Nile. So why the panic? I have my theories on this, but I don’t know if I should share them here. But here’s a big hint: money. So yes, please do be cautious Pat. It’s not worth taking the risk. And I feel much better knowing that when you see one of those suckers you’ll smack it! That’s the way to do it! Thank you Pat! 🙂

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  9. Catie Rhodes

    Mosquitos love me, too. The cases of West Nile Virus in Texas scare me. It is so humid here in SE Texas that I get bitten every time I go outside. I am so glad your doctor knew how to treat you.

    Reply
    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Catie! So those little suckers love you too. You know, when we were kids, we got bitten, but never thought about getting sick. This outbreak is crazy. Please take care and thank you so much for popping in! 🙂

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  10. Jenny Hansen

    Dang, I guess this means I have to stop gardening at night! I do it all the time cuz it’s the only time I have. I had no idea I was at risk. Those suckers love me!

    Any truth to the rumor that you can rub your arms and legs with dryer sheets and carry them in your pocket to repel mosquitos??

    So glad you survived this…
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    1. Karen Post author

      Jenny Hansen, don’t you dare use those dryer sheets girl! It is because I know that you are growing organic veggies and eating healthy glutten free that I tell you this. Those dryer sheets are a health hazard. I know you’ll think I’m crazy and maybe I am. LOL! But here’s the skinny on the sheets. The chemical they use as a softener is the same chemical that is used to soften carpet. And that said chemical causes cancer. Yep. I know this because my oldest son sells carpet. And keep it away from baby girl. Here’s what you can use instead and it will save you tons of money. Use vinegar. Just a splash in the wash cycle will make your clothes nice and soft, and you can put it into the dishwasher and you won’t believe how sparkly your glasses and silverware will be. You’ll need sunglasses they’ll be so bright. Now as far as a natural mosquito repellent, there is oil of lemon eucalyptus and Kristy James has a natural remedy she makes herself listed in the comments below. Stay away from the deet and the sheets girlfriend! See I survived so that I could tell you this stuff. That’s how it works! Love ya Jenny! 🙂

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  11. Marcy Kennedy

    I’m so glad you made it through. I did know about the dangers of West Nile. The father of one of my closest friends contracted it and almost died. He survived, but with lasting damage. It can be a scary thing, as is the pesticide they use to spray for mosquitoes unfortunately.

    We’re taking out a natural attack against mosquitoes starting this year. I noticed we had a family of bats living in our trees (as I understand, they eat up to 30,000 mosquitoes each), so my dad built us two bat houses. I’m hoping the parents will return next year, along with their babies and their mates. More bats equals fewer mosquitoes 🙂
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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Marcy! Yes, I would say that you do know about the affects of West Nile. I can imagine how sick your friend’s father was. Yep, it was very scary. And yes, it worries me about the pesticide they use for spraying. In fact, it is the spraying in Phoenix that helped prompt our move to Cali. It, the pesticide, was making me sick. Very interesting your natural attack on those little blood suckers. I like it. Well, not the bats per se, but the thought of what the bats do. Yes, I hope they eat every mosquito in your area Marcy! Thanks for coming by and for your support! Have a great week! 🙂

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  12. Lynette M. Burrows

    Thank you for sharing your story, Karen. A harrowing story it is, too. So glad you got the help you needed. The human nervous system is an amazing thing and can take an awful lot and recover, thank goodness. I wish you’d recovered more fully and more quickly. Does the doctor think you might recover more over time?

    Take care of yourself. If you disappear for a while I might send a note saying, let me know how you’re doing – just to check you know. {{{{hugs}}}}
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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Lynette! Oh wow, I never thought of it as harrowing. But I guess it was. Yes, so grateful I got the needed help. I know that I would have died. As far as the recovery. It’s been eight years. Since it seems that the form of West Nile that I had is the same one that officials are alarmed about in Texas, it does lasting affects to the central nervous system. I don’t shake or anything. I’m just sensitive to things. Everything since the virus is hightened. Does that make sense? Anyway, as I’ve told others in comments below, I am so happy to be alive. But, with the widespread outbreak, I just wanted to warn others so that they understand what a huge threat this is. Thanks Lynette for your genuine care and kindness. Big hugs back to you! 🙂

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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Debra! Well, what can I say? I survived and that’s the important thing, right? But I do have to watch that I don’t overdo it. That seems to be a hard thing to judge as you know. We all have so much going on. And thank you dear one. I appreciate your healing and kind words. Now you watch our for those nasty mosquitoes! Take care and thanks for coming by. 🙂

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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Diane! I must reiterate that it’s been eight years since I contracted West Nile. But I still do suffer from some of the aftereffects. That’s why I may go MIA on y’all from time to time. But yes, please do be careful. If you live near water, and I know that both your residence in Florida and Michigan are, be very careful. Sheila said that they’ve had West Nile as far north as Canada. Just be cautious girl! Those blood suckers just love me too! Take care Diane and have a great week! 🙂

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  13. Patricia

    Holy canoli!! That’s quite the story. I am so thankful you got the help you needed and just in the knick of time it sounds like. You are indeed blessed.

    So glad this story had a good outcome. I’d miss seeing you around the blogging world!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt
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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Patricia! So glad to see you girl! Holy canoli is right! And yes, I do feel blessed. And I miss you too! Say, Patricia, I thank you so much for subscribing to my blog. Just to let you know, Feedburner says that there is something wrong with the email link. So, if you are so inclined, please do re-subscribe that way we can stay in touch more often. I miss you too girl! I hope you are doing well. I’m sorry too that I did not get to see you when you came out to Anaheim. Next time we’ll make plans, you here? Take care Patricia! 🙂

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  14. Nigel Blackwell

    Hi Karen. Sounds like you were lucky – so to speak. Glad you found a doctor that had experience of it.

    We live in DFW and we’ve been avoiding being out at dawn and dusk. I get bitten all the time, any time. I think I need to change my aftershave!

    I haven’t heard of oil of eucalyptus as a deterrent. We use deet all the time. You can get it in roll-ons which are pretty handy.

    Cheers!
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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi there Nigel! Ah yes, I do appreciate that my life was spared. And I’m still a patient of that said doctor. He’s brillant and treats people from all over the world. The Shaq is one of his patients as a matter of fact. Oh you live in the DFW area? You guys are getting attacked as we speak. Please keep you and your children inside while they’re spraying Nigel. I can’t tell you how many people get sick from the insecticide. But you may have to change more than your aftershave! LOL! Do whatever you can and smack those little blood suckers dead Nigel! 🙂

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  15. Shannon Esposito

    OMG, Karen! I’m so glad you made it through that. How terrifying. I didn’t even realize west nile was a problem that long ago? This scares me because one of my sons gets bitten everytime he leaves the house, they just love him (his twin brother never gets bit…I wish they would figure that one out!) Luckily, this summer wasn’t too bad but he came home from the first day of school with eight bites on his legs from the playground. His new cologne is going to be eau de OFF!!!
    Thanks for sharing your story!

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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Shannon! How are you girl? Uh, yes, it was a bit terrifying. You know, I think West Nile started making its way through the U.S. around 2002. It originated on the African continent in 1937. I totally understand your fear for your son. And isn’t that amazing that one twin gets bitten and the other doesn’t? My boys are 16 months apart, almost the next closest thing to a twin, but, they share the same blood type, yet only one of them gets mosquito bites. Whose to understand all the ways of nature, eh? So eau de OFF sounds like a good plan. Or you might try Kristy James natural remedy. Either way, I hope that all your family stays well Shannon! Thank you for coming by and have a great week! 🙂

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  16. Kassandra Lamb

    That had to be so, so scary! Many lessons in this for all of us. One of them being, trust your instincts when you know you are sick and insist on immediate medical care!

    I first heard about West Nile fever years ago when I still had a horse farm in Maryland. They had a vaccine for it for horses back then (at least twelve years ago), so why isn’t there one for humans? We were encouraged to add that vaccine to their yearly immunization regimen, not just to protect them but to lessen the risk of the virus spreading.

    We live in Florida now where mosquitoes are as common as grass. I will be more alert to protecting myself against them now! Thanks for sharing, Karen.
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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Kassandra! Not to fear, I found you in spam. Thank you so much for coming by to see me! Uh, yes, this was really scary. Now that is really interesting about the horse vaccine. You’d think that there would be something for humans. Christine MacKenzie mentioned that the Germans are working on something for the prevention of mosquito infections. Oh, you live in Florida? Well you have giant mosquitoes there girl! They’re like vampires! LOL! Please do take precautions Kassandra! And thanks for all your support! 🙂

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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Myndi! Listen sweetie, just so you don’t worry, what happened to me took place in 2004. But I do still suffer from the aftereffects from the virus. And that is partly why I am MIA from time to time. Thank you so much for your concern. So tell me, how is “Little Miss Took?” And the boys? I am excited about your book. I wish you all the best Myndi! 🙂

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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Fabio! Well, I appreciate your concern. And I also appreciate your support. You know I do not like talking about myself. Yet, how many people do we know that suffer from other ailments? I can’t help it if those crazy blood sucking bugs love me! I just happened to be bitten by a bad one. So beware, they’re out there. And when you see one, smack ’em dead for me will you Fabio? Thanks for coming by and have a wonderful week! 🙂

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  17. Sheila Seabrook

    Oh gosh, Karen, you are so lucky you caught it in time. We’ve had a little bit of the problem up here in western Canada, but fortunately not every year. You take good care of yourself, girl, and make sure you take lots of time to recover.

    Stupid bugs. Who said we needed them anyway. SMACK!
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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Sheila! Yes, I was very fortunate. I did not know that the West Nile virus made its way to Canada Sheila. Kristy James suggested this may have to do with the drought. Or could it be global warming? Since my bout with the virus eight years ago, I have had no choice but to take care of myself. And that does have a bearing on my energy level and why you might not see me around from time to time. Yes, stupid bugs indeed! Smack ’em dead Sheila! LOL! Thanks girl for coming by and have a great week! 🙂

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  18. Coleen Patrick

    So glad you recovered–what an ordeal! I know about the precautions, but you can bet after your story I’m going to be a little bit more cautious.
    I remember as a kid when the trucks used to spray our neighborhoods with pesticide–of course, back then no one told us to stay inside. Crazy, an entire neighborhood of kids outside playing in that poison!
    Thanks for sharing your story Karen–every bit of information helps I’m sure.
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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Coleen! Oh boy, playing outside among the pesticide spray? Yeah, that’s insane! And that’s why I hope that everyone who lives in an area that is being sprayed will stay indoors. Being affected by the insecticide does create more problems on top of the problem. Yes, please be careful! Thank you for coming by and have a great week Coleen! 🙂

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  19. K.B. Owen

    OMG, Karen! Wowzers, you poor thing. What an awful ordeal to go through. Is there any silver lining for you, e.g., are you immune now from West Nile? I hope so.

    Around here (Northern VA), we have a nasty day-time mosquito species: the Tiger Mosquito. These li’l suckers (literally) can breed in a bottle-capful of water, so it’s just impossible to cut down their numbers. They came from Southeast Asia, in the water collecting in tires being shipped. They feed at all times of day and night; there’s no getting away from them. And I know they can carry West Nile Virus. Just going out for 15 minutes in the morning to water my pots in the backyard will get me three bites, at least. We use larvacide in our fountains/bird baths, but there are just too many places they can breed.

    Thanks for the heads-up, Karen, and I hope you NEVER have to go through anything like that again!

    Kathy
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    1. Karen Post author

      Wowzers! You can say that again Kathy! The answer to your question is, yes, I am supposed to be immuned to West Nile now. Though after my experience, I do not want to test that theory out. LOL! And you thought that squirrels were a problem? Can I tell you just how much I hate mosquitoes? Thank you Kathy for sharing your experience. The Tiger Mosquito? I don’t care what name they want to give them, I say, Smack ’em Dead Kathy!!! LOL! 🙂

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  20. Kristy K. James

    Gosh, Karen! I’m SO glad you lived through that. What a horrible thing to happen…and then to be told come in on Monday…

    After suffering through mosquito hell last summer…my daughter and I must have killed fifty of them in our house every day (we figure they came in on the dogs every time we let them out), I went searching for something for this year. And this is what I’ve found. So far we’ve only had a couple mosquitoes in the house since the beginning of spring. Can’t say it’s 100% due to this, or partly because of the drought conditions, but I’ll be using it again every summer from here on out.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/27/health/27mosquito.html

    I actually used bottled apple juice, brown sugar and Borax, after more research to find out how to make the concoction. It does have to be put in things like empty water bottles (hung in trees and bushes) to prevent pets, rabbits, and birds from dying.
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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Kristy! Yes, it was horrible. And the “come in on Monday did peeve me a tiny bit. Yet, I was so glad to know a doctor who could help me fight the virus. See, that’s the problem. Finding a way to stop the mosquitoes from getting in your house. We started spraying our doorways from the outside of course. But, I, like you and your daughter always get bitten. They love me. Ah, the drought. That makes so much sense, doesn’t it? And thank you very much for leaving a natural remedy for mosquitoe repellent on this post so that others may benefit! Good to know Kristy! I know all about mosquito hell girl! You and your loved ones stay safe, you hear me? 🙂

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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Rhonda! You have no idea how fortunate I was to have a doctor that knew how to treat it. Though not all mosquitoes carry the virus, it only takes a sick one. It is a little scary Rhonda. But authorities say that those that are most affected are over the age of 50. So chances are, even if you were to get bitten by a bad bite, you wouldn’t become as sick because of your age, having a stonger immune system. One can only hope that they’re right. But please be careful Rhonda and follow the instructions on how to protect yourself. And if you see any mosquitoes, smack those little suckers dead! 🙂

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  21. Melinda VanLone

    Oh wow, I had no idea that’s why you were sick! So scary, and so glad you are here to post about it. Yeah, there were lots of people screaming to high heaven here when they started spraying (I live in Dallas) but even though I haven’t personally gotten sick, I said spray away! I’d rather stay indoors and let them kill those little suckers so nobody has to suffer with this incurable disease. For things like this, I say better living through chemistry! Those hungry little suckers LOVE me, so if I’m going to be out in the woods, it’s DEET for me! When I went to the Arboretum I was relieved to see they had put stuff in all the ponds and water features to kill and ward off mosquitos. I didn’t get bit once, didn’t even see one. Thank goodness. I’m sure if there’d been even one, he’d have found me.

    I sure hope you’re feeling better now, and that you have full recovery. I shall kill every mosquito I find, in your honor 😀
    Melinda VanLone recently posted..There’s an Alien World at the Arboretum: Chihuly ExhibitMy Profile

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    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Melinda! Oh wow is right! And may I just clarify that my West Nile illness happened eight years ago. But I still suffer from the aftereffects from the illness. I apparently was bitten by a mosquito that carried the form of the virus that affects the nervous system. But hey, I’m still here! You ain’t getting rid of me that easy! LOL! Like it was easy to live through that infection. NOT. But I hear ya on the spraying. The spraying itself sweetie can make you really sick if you’re sensitive to insecticides. So thus the warning to stay indoors. And I like you find that misquitoes just love me. Well at least I can say I attract something. LOL! And yes, do smack those little suckers every chance you get. It’s good to know that my honor has been put in your hands Melinda! I no doubt feel better already. 🙂

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  22. CC MacKenzie

    Whoa!

    Y’all need to understand tropical hygiene. Having lived in Africa with the horrific malaria virus that kills thousands every year, the key is prevention.

    These little buggers love damp, wet conditions. Standing water is where they breed so, as Karen says, make sure you’ve none sitting in plant pots etc. Cover up at dusk and use a skin protection. Boots do an aftersun with insect repellent which works really well and it smells good too. Inside the house plug in those electric holders where you put a tablet that lasts for twelve hours – plug them in at 3.30 in the afternoon. Light insect repellent coils, switch on blue electric lights.

    We lived in three African countries over ten years and I wasn’t bitten once by taking these precautions and neither were my kids.

    The fact that the government is taking control and spraying is excellent news, but unfortunately they’ll kill mosquito predators too.

    Glad you recovered, Karen. I saw recently on the BBC Horizon programme that a vaccine is being developed in Germany that won’t stop us getting malaria, but it will switch off our bodies reaction to the infection, rendering it harmless. Might be an interesting development if they can produce the same effect for West Nile Fever.
    CC MacKenzie recently posted..Collaborate and Create: Group Blogs For Friends, Colleagues, and FamilyMy Profile

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    1. Karen Post author

      Whoa right back atcha Christine! I appreciate that you’ve shared your insight on dealing with as you call them, ” these little buggers!” I, Christine, got bit in the middle of the night while I slept soundly in my bed. That little bugger, or as I prefer to call them sucker, snuck in as someone came through the door. We started spraying outside, around the doorways. But as you well know, all it takes is one bite. And of course, that little sucker found me. My husband tried to reassure me that, “not all misquitoes carry West Nile Karen.” Right. Well that was eight years ago and I’ve never been the same. It was quite a battle. But, I’m alive. And I know you know that feeling my friend with the battle that you’ve been through. So we keep pressing on. But, I just felt the need to share how important it is to protect ourselves so that others will realize how serious of a matter this is. Leave it to Germany to come up with a vaccine. They tend to be the forerunners when it comes to this kind of thing. Thanks Christine! 🙂

      Reply
  23. Prudence MacLeod

    Wow, Karen, I had no idea. Girl, I am so sorry that happened to you, and I am thrilled you pulled through. Glad to have you back.
    I will confess, in summer DEET is now and has ever been my best friend. I was using the stuff long before West Nile arrived. Use it people, and heed Karen’s advice. Take no chances.
    Prudence MacLeod recently posted..Success!My Profile

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    1. Karen Post author

      Wow is right Prudence. But hey, it’s no different from what others may have suffered through, you know? It took place eight years ago, but I felt that sharing my story would help others take precautionary measures to keep themself safe from the illness. Glad to hear that you have taken this seriously. It only take one bite. You take care Prudence and thanks for your support! 🙂

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