Paranoia or why generalizations are dangerous
Or as my dad intonated to me, "You feel flu-like symptoms and you think you're okay. You don't go to the hospital and then BAM! You're dead. There is no cure."
"Wear mosquito spray when you run outside," he added.
And left it at that. I went around bug-eyed (no pun intended) for approximately 24 hours, staying mainly indoors, until I finally worked up the nerve to Mayo Clinic the West Nile virus. Indeed, the symptoms are flu like, with 20% of people developing a mild infection with fever. Less than 1% of people infected - let's put that in all caps, shall we - LESS THAN 1% OF PEOPLE INFECTED have the neurological infection that causes brain and spinal cord inflammation. Further more, to quote Wikipedia:
"People of advanced age, the very young, or those with immunosuppression, either medically induced, such as those taking immunosupressive drugs, or due to a pre-existing medical condition such as HIV infection, are most susceptible."
I also fit none of those descriptions.
It's true that it's a good idea to wear bug spray when you go outside at dawn or dusk and not to prop the doors and windows without any kind of screen. And if I do come down with a slight fever, coupled with some mosquito bites, I may go to the doctor just to be safe. But not gathering the full facts and allowing myself to be scared by broad sweeping generalizations (which my dad tends to make a habit of doing) could have prevented me from enjoying a beautiful, mosquito-free Sunday afternoon around the lake.
Next time, I'm asking for the full story and 'just the facts, ma'am.'