Dangers of West Nile virus

Dear Editor:In last week's Downey Patriot, you carried a warning about West Nile virus. I want to emphasize this warning to your readers. Many people will ignore your warning or minimize the serious nature of this disease. The West Nile virus is often referred to in medical journals as West Nile poliomyelitis, because this virus can affect the human body in ways that mimic polio. People can become paralyzed, very similar to polio, and can even lose the ability to breathe without mechanical assistance. West Nile poliomyelitis may affect people who are otherwise healthy and without prior medical conditions. There is no vaccine for this disease, nor cure for this disease, and it is often misdiagnosed until the symptoms progress to debilitating. Your younger readers will have no memory of the great polio epidemics of the 1940s and 1950s, but those of us who experienced polio know that the West Nile virus is serious. Please heed this warning. -- Richard Daggett, president, Polio Survivors Association

********** Published: September 08, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 21