It’s important to remember that approximately 80 per cent of people who are infected with West Nile Virus will not show any symptoms at all (“West Nile virus found in B.C. birds”, The Journal, August 30). Only 20 per cent of people who become infected will display symptoms, which can include fever, headache, and body aches. One could almost wonder what all the fuss is about.
Unfortunately, the facts speak for themselves. Between the years 1999 and 2016, more than 46,000 cases of West Nile Virus in the U.S.A. were confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control (http://bit.ly/2MD1sJQ). Statistics show that 46.8 per cent of these were cases of West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease: involvement of the brain and nervous system. That is 21,574 households where lives have been changed, forever, by this very severe form of WNV infection.
Unfortunately, the public has little understanding of the household of an encephalitis survivor: a person who is struggling to face life itself, after surviving this horrible disease. Consider memory loss, where a fiancée is heartbroken when her intended really does not remember her, or the promise that they shared. And there is a man’s anger with himself, when his spouse is now the solo family bread-winner. Children who now face their education with frustration, as their peers move ahead and leave them behind.
The key to raising awareness is to share information widely. We must focus on reducing the mosquito population, acknowledge the serious impact of mosquito-borne encephalitis such as West Nile, and share information and support with survivors and families.
Like a seatbelt in a car, these are not precautions to be taken with loud and dramatic panic, but with education, self-respect, and motivation to protect our loved ones and ourselves.
Pitt Meadows, B.C.
I would like to endorse Andrea Walker’s letter in the September 6 issue of The Journal (“Letters to the Editor”). I am outraged re: the loss of our recycling depot in Ashcroft and at the new restrictions as to what is allowed for recycling. All the containers with the small recycle triangles are now forbidden?
I think of all the amount of work that went into our excellent recycling system, and it now is being trashed. Who wants to sort into five bins at home and who wants to drive to the old trash site?
To the TNRD, for shame!!
TNRD Area “I”
[Editor’s note: According to the TNRD’s Waste Wizard app (https://tnrd.ca/content/waste-wizard), plastic containers with the recycling triangle and the numbers 1 through 7 in them are recyclable if rinsed out.]