In response to the confusion created by all of the West Nile virus-related cases popping up around northeast Ohio, Action News set up its own West Nile Virus Hotline and took calls from dozens of concerned viewers.
The hotline gave Action News viewers a chance to get answers from a panel of health experts that specialize in the study of West Nile virus.
The question that was most asked by those who called the hotline was: What are the symptoms of West Nile virus?
The Action News panel answered by saying that you should be on the lookout for a high fever, muscle aches, a headache and a rash. It said that the high fever and the rash would help you distinguish West Nile from the flu. If you have all of the above symptoms, they said that you should go to the doctor.
Other popular questions and answers covered during hotline calls included the following:
How do I find where and when spraying will take place? ... Most counties have either set up a spraying information hotline or have the info listed on its health department Web site or both.
When shopping for repellent, how do I know which brand works? ... The important thing is to buy repellent containing DEET.
How can I protect my household pets from West Nile virus? ... There is no vaccine specifically designed for dogs, cats or other household pets, but the vaccine used for horses might work. You should consult your veterinarian before giving your pet any medication, however.