WEST BRIDGEWATER, Mass.--(Western Schools said today.)--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
“The best preventive measure is to avoid mosquito bites”
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 Edition West Nile Virus continuing education course from Western Schools- a leading ANCC accredited provider of healthcare continuing education – does just that.
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 animals.
“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.
According to Bernard, “This virus can cause severe illness in susceptible humans, animals, and wildlife.” It is primarily transmitted to people and animals by a bite from an infected mosquito.
“Although most people infected with WNV develop no illness or symptoms, persons over 50 years of age and certain medical conditions have an increased risk of infection that can lead to West Nile fever or severe West Nile Disease,” Bernard said.
The West Nile Virus continuing education course for nurses provides an overview of WNV including the history and emergence of WNV, transmission, clinical symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention strategies.
“The West Nile Virus course offered by Western Schools is a great example of one of the hundreds of courses written by field experts that we offer to nursing professionals,” said Christian Feuer, CEO of SC Publications, parent company of Western Schools. “Our courses are frequently updated to keep abreast of the current issues facing nurses today.”
About Western Schools
Western Schools is a leader in continuing education in the healthcare field, offering in-depth, peer-reviewed courses in nursing and behavioral health. Western Schools is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Commission on Accreditation.
Through their process of quality development and rigorous review, Western Schools offers healthcare professionals the highest quality, convenient, and affordable courses needed to fulfill their re-licensure, certification, and other professional education needs. Western Schools offers more than 2,300 continuing education hours across more than 40 specialties in nursing and behavioral health. Since its founding in 1978, Western Schools has served more than 1 million practitioners through its commitment to the growth and lifelong learning of healthcare professionals. For more information about Western Schools, visit http://www.westernschools.com