Healthcheck: Tobacco warnings, West Nile Virus symptoms

August 24, 2012

If you remember, the FDA came up with nine graphic images that warn against the dangers of smoking. The agency wanted the warnings placed on cigarette packaging starting in September.

The hope was that the warnings would help prevent young adults from picking up the habit and persuade smokers to quit.

On Friday a U.S. Appeals court ruled that forcing tobacco companies to use the labels infringes on their freedom of speech.

Some tobacco companies involved in the lawsuit claimed the warnings went beyond the facts. They also argued the warnings were more about anti-smoking, while the government argued the photos of dying smokers are factual.

In other news, there are new additions to the rising number of West Nile Virus cases.

There are now more than 1,100 cases nationwide. Most are in Southern states but mosquito control has tracked positive mosquitoes in our area and are spraying high risk areas.

Residents area also asked to get rid of standing water and use insect repellent.

Many people are asking on Facebook, what are the symptoms of West Nile Virus and what they should look for.

Symptoms can show up within days to a few weeks after a bite from an infected mosquito so there is a big window of time.

The good news is most cases - about 80 percent will have no symptoms. Your body will fight off the virus and you won't get sick.

About 19 percent of people will have mild symptoms including headaches, nausea, fever and a rash. These symptoms can usually be treated at home.

Only about 1 percent of people will get the severe infection where the virus goes to the brain or spinal cord. Symptoms here could include confusion, stiff neck, high fever, weakness, convulsions, or paralysis.

Those are all signs you need to get the doctor right away.

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