While West Nile Virus hasn’t been in the news like it used to be, but that doesn’t mean it’s still not a threat. A mosquito carrying the virus can cause illness so severe that it can incapacitate a person or even cause death. West Nile virus can cause encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain or meningitis, an inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord.

Massey Services, a national pest prevention company, offers these tips to help golf course superintendents prevent West Nile virus among themselves and their crew members:

  • Dead birds could be an indication of West Nile virus; contact local health officials to report sightings of deceased birds so that they may be collected for testing.
  • Wear insect repellant with DEET as an active product to prevent mosquitos from biting and spreading disease.
  • Get rid of even small amounts of standing water on the golf course.
  • Wear long sleeves and long pants when working during mosquito season.

People who contract West Nile virus from a mosquito bite typically show symptoms of the illness within two to six days, including headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures or paralysis. Most cases of the virus appear from June to September.