The Garden City Telegram

Recent rains bring threat of West Nile

With the wonderful rains we have received here in southwest Kansas also comes a potential problem, West Nile disease. West Nile virus causes an infection that is spread by certain kinds of mosquitoes. Most often, mosquitoes get infected when they bite infected birds. Then the mosquitoes spread the virus when they bite people or other animals, such as horses.

Most people who have West Nile have no symptoms. Or the symptoms may be so mild that people may not even realize that they have the virus. In rare cases, West Nile can lead to swelling of the brain (encephalitis), swelling of the spinal cord (myelitis) or swelling of the tissues around the brain and spinal cord (meningitis). But very few people with West Nile will get a severe illness that affects the brain or spinal cord.

Anyone who is bitten by a mosquito may get West Nile. Most of the time people fully recover from it. But permanent problems such as seizures, memory loss and brain damage can occur, especially in children and older people. As you get older, you have a higher risk for getting encephalitis and other serious problems from West Nile.

About 80 out of 100 people who have West Nile have no symptoms and only about one out of 150 people infected develops serious illness. When symptoms do appear, they begin three to 14 days after the mosquito bite. Mild symptoms include a fever, headaches, body aches, rash (usually on the chest, back and arms), feeling very tired, no appetite, feeling sick to your stomach or throwing up. Mild cases of West Nile usually last for three to six days.

If you feel like you may have West Nile disease, see your health care provider. Next week this column will cover ways to prevent mosquito bites.

Falls prevention

A new series called "Stepping On" Falls Prevention is a series designed for the person who has taken a fall in the past year or worries about falling. This series will provide learning opportunities to enable us to avoid falling and the sometimes long recovery. "Stepping On" is taught by physical therapist Brenda Drees with guest speakers.

Thanks for help

We have a very special volunteer who has delivered Meals on Wheels every day for more than 12 years. Duane Riley has devoted himself to this activity and to his customers. Join us on Thursday at Pershing Manor, 606 Pershing, from 1:30 to 3 p.m., as we honor Duane for his commitment to Meals on Wheels.

Scheduled activities

Thursday, the TOPS Club will meet at 9 a.m., followed by art class at 10 a.m. Gentle exercises start at 11 a.m. The Ambassador Singers practice at 1 p.m. Skip-Bo begins at 1 p.m. Yoga begins at 6:30 p.m.

Friday begins with line dancing at 8:30 a.m. Craft shop check-in/out is from 10 a.m. to noon. A nurse from St. Catherine Hospital is available between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. Bridge begins at 12:45 p.m. The Finney County Senior Citizens Association monthly covered dish begins at 6 p.m.

Saturday, the pool room is open from 1 to 4 p.m.

Sunday has duplicate bridge at 2 p.m.

Monday has double pinochle at 12:40 p.m. Duplicate bridge begins at 7 p.m.

Tuesday, the day begins with walking at 8:30 a.m. Gentle exercises begin at 11 a.m. Pitch starts at 12:30 p.m. Bridge begins at 1:15 p.m. Yoga is at 6:30 p.m.

July 16 has line dancing at 8:30 a.m. TOPS 1116 meets at 10 a.m. Library outreach is at 11:30 a.m. Pinochle starts at 12:40 p.m. The regular Wednesday night dance begins at 7:30 p.m. featuring the Moonshiners. The recommended donation is $5.

Health tip

July's healthy eating goal is to eat healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Lunch menus

Lunch is served at noon.

Thursday: Barbecue beef, potato salad, California blend vegetables, bun, pudding.

Friday: Chicken enchiladas, Corn O'Brien, spinach salad, strawberry parfait.

Monday: Chef salad, bread sticks, melon mix.

Tuesday: Tuna salad sandwich, creamy coleslaw, tomato wedges, bread, sherbet.

July 16: Meat loaf, au gratin potatoes, green beans, bread, citrus fruit cup.

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