This time of year at we see more mosquito borne illnesses that are particularly concerning. West Nile virus can cause a serious condition known as West Nile Encephalitis, which is an infection and inflammation of the brain. West Nile virus was originally detected in the West Nile region of Uganda around 1937, since that time it has spread to many parts of the world, including the United States. In 1999 the first case was detected in NYC. West Nile virus symptoms are often overlooked because they may mimic other diseases such as the flu. Symptoms of West Nile virus include fevers and chills, swollen glands, severe headache, confusion, altered state of mind, coma, paralysis and vision loss. There is no cure for this very serious condition so it is important to avoid mosquito bites. Avoid mosquito bites by limiting exposure, limit time outdoors during the early morning and dusk, use EPA approved repellents, wear long sleeves and pants, put mosquito netting around baby strollers, repair any damaged window screens, and clear any standing water around the house. Unfortunately there are no vaccines for humans yet, so the only treatment at this time is prevention. If you have any of the symptoms listed and have a mosquito bite, you should see a physician right away.