West Nile virus is showing up earlier and producing more severe cases
than normal this year, and nurses must be able to recognize who is at
risk and how to best protect against it, an expert at Western
Schools said today.
Amy Bernard, MS, BSN, RN-BC, Director of Continuing Education for
Western Schools, said that the rapid increase in cases of West Nile
virus (WNV) means that nurses must arm themselves with the latest
information about this public health concern. The new 4th
Nile Virus continuing education course from Western Schools- a
accredited provider of healthcare continuing education - does just
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported one of
the worst West Nile outbreaks ever seen in the U.S. with 1,590 cases in
all contiguous 48 states and 66 deaths this year. Three quarters of the
cases were reported from five states: Louisiana, Oklahoma, Mississippi,
South Dakota, and Texas. Texas has been the most affected with almost
half of all the cases.
"In just two weeks, the number of WNV cases increased five-fold,"
Bernard said. "Nurses need to identify those people at risk for WNV.
Regardless of where they work, nurses are in a good position to help
educate the public on how to best protect against it."
Western Schools is offering an informative continuing
education course to help prepare nurses across the country for this
public health concern. Just updated, the West Nile Virus course offers
insight on ways to help minimize disease transmission to people and
"The best preventive measure is to avoid mosquito bites," Bernard said.
The course details prevention measures that should be taken such as
using insect repellent containing an EPA-registered active ingredient
when outdoors, eliminating mosquito breeding grounds by emptying any
standing water, and avoiding being outdoors during dawn and dusk when
mosquitoes are most active.
West Nile virus emerged as a public health threat in North America in
1999. It has since spread rapidly across the continental United States,
affecting thousands of people, horses, and birds.