West Nile Virus or EEE question:

  1. How many of you have been bombarded (as I have by working in pediatric and public health telephone triage) by questions and concerns about WEST NILE VIRUS and/or EEE the past few weeks? Each time a child has fever or headache a parent calls my workplace worried about one of these illnesses. Come to think of it, they could call with a "hangnail" and worry about this as well. While I understand their concern, I realize it's the media adding fuel to this fire.
    So........anyone else noticing the rise of anxiety and paranoia?
    •  
  2. Poll: Concerning the WEST NILE VIRUS or EEE, you :

    • Have noticed a huge increase in awareness and concern.

      45.83% 11
    • Have not noticed a change in awareness or concern.

      33.33% 8
    • Have not idea what WNV or EEE is.

      20.83% 5
    24 Votes
  3. 12 Comments

  4. by   nurs4kids
    Hey kidz, are you also at Children's?? If you're in the Birmingham area, I know that Jefferson County recently sent out a pamplet to all homes advising on ways to prevent mosquito infestations, etc. Also, I have noticed several new billboards in the area addressing this problem. This may very well be the sources behind the parent's concerns. The local media has covered it pretty heavily, also. I know, as a parent, I've become alot more concentious about mosquito bites and ways to decrease exposure. It's pretty scary when you start hearing about people dying from this. I can understand the parent's concerns.
    Last edit by nurs4kids on Sep 7, '01
  5. by   debbyed
    When working in the ER you can always tell what illness/disese has been talked about on the 6 o'clock news. There are always 5-6 people who come in who are sure they have it. of course they are usually the same 5-6 people each time.

    WNV has had big headlines in the Balti/Wash area the last couple months but I'm not aware of any actual human cases here. We still routinely have patient calling/arriving who are sure they have it.

    Last year there was a rash of mennigitis cases in the area. We were bombarded with patients who were sure they had it. It was amazing however that when you told them they needed a spinal tap to find out if they had it, they suddenly "got all better"
  6. by   P_RN
    The vector Tiger Mosquito has changed how we think of "preventing" mosquito bites. It can breed in as little as a half teaspoon of water. That much can collect in one of my canna lillies in one evening.

    I think sometimes like this it is a good thing for parents to be super aware. There are many causes for febrile illnesses and this is making parents sit up and take notice.

    P
  7. by   KidzRN
    Originally posted by nurs4kids
    Hey kidz, are you also at Children's?? If you're in the Birmingham area, I know that Jefferson County recently sent out a pamplet to all homes advising on ways to prevent mosquito infestations, etc. Also, I have noticed several new billboards in the area addressing this problem. This may very well be the sources behind the parent's concerns. The local media has covered it pretty heavily, also. I know, as a parent, I've become alot more concentious about mosquito bites and ways to decrease exposure. It's pretty scary when you start hearing about people dying from this. I can understand the parent's concerns.
    Nurs4kids-
    Yes! I work at Children's. Do you as well? The majority of calls we get on the JCHD line are from various citizens calling to ask us what to do with a dead bird they just found. "If it's not decaying, place it in a ziplock bag, put in freezer, and bring it to the Health Department on Monday when they open" is all the information we have to tell them. We have a lottery each night at work on how many "dead bird" calls we'll have...LOL

    I too am a parent and understand the concern, but not the "panic" that some of these people call with. Some of them actually want us to send them to the ER "just to be sure". We are trying our best to educate these callers that fevers and/or headaches are caused by a variety illnesses, but should more flu-like sx such as all over joint or muscle pain/weakness occur, to call back ASAP.

    This is really no different than the panic of a "meningitis" report which also triples our call load that night with more folks who want to go immediately to the ED "just to be sure". There has, however, been an increased DX of meninigitis cases recently and now any kid that calls with a combination of Fever/Headache/Vomiting is sent to ED. Childrens South (After Hours) was recently bombarded with spinal taps and not staffed well enough to handle this, so now everyone has to go into ED.

    While I may at times get frustrated with all the panic and anxiety some of these parents have when calling us, I first am a "mother" and second am a "nurse". I often have to remind myself that they don't all have the knowledge that I have therefore it's my job to do as much teaching/education as I can during that 5-15 minute phone call, and hopefully in the process reassure mom or dad that we all want what is best for their child.

    PS: If you do work at TCHA, what unit/floor?

    Take care!
  8. by   KidzRN
    Originally posted by debbyed
    When working in the ER you can always tell what illness/disese has been talked about on the 6 o'clock news. There are always 5-6 people who come in who are sure they have it. of course they are usually the same 5-6 people each time.

    WNV has had big headlines in the Balti/Wash area the last couple months but I'm not aware of any actual human cases here. We still routinely have patient calling/arriving who are sure they have it.

    Last year there was a rash of mennigitis cases in the area. We were bombarded with patients who were sure they had it. It was amazing however that when you told them they needed a spinal tap to find out if they had it, they suddenly "got all better"
    DebbyED-

    I couldn't agree with you more! I worked ER for 2 years before moving to my current job (telephone triage). The threat or fear of "needles" seems to cause many patients to miraculously be cured or healed! Just like the the thought of a catheter suddenly causing someone to be able to provide a UA on demand when first saying "I can't go right now".

    Notice also that some of the folks think that if they say "I've had this pain for 2 months" instead of saying they've been hurting for only 2 days or 2 hours makes them seem LESS acute, and therefore less of an emergency? Not sure if that drove me more nuts, or if it was the folks that would "say all the right things" during the triage process to speed up their being brought to a room faster, to in turn totally contradict their chief complaint once the MD came into the room. ARGH! I'd say "they complained of chest pain and SOB in triage" and now they say they are "constipated". Sheesh! Calgon.....take me away!
  9. by   Q.
    Actually, we've had a HUGE concern in the Milwaukee area, but this is because we've had 3 documented cases of kids dying of encephalitis as a result of a mosquito bite.

    In addition, we also have confirmed cases of West Nile. Our bird population is dropping like flies....


    Kinda scary.
  10. by   nurs4kids
    Kidz,
    Yeah, I'm also at Children's..3 East. I guess you've probably heard by now, but this morning the media announced there are two suspected cases of WNV in elderly patients. Sending labs out west for analysis.

    Anyhow, nice to meet ya, neighbor! Since I do most of my computer playing at work, I'll remain anonymous for now
    lol I really think I know you, your name's Shelly, right? LOL, but I can't place your face.

    Saw last night on internal postings that ya'll have a position open..have considered it greatly in the past because of my kids (work 3 12's nights now). How do you like it? Do you miss patient contact??
  11. by   debbyed
    I've been on vacation for the last week and just learned that there have been 2 confirmed cases of WNV in Maryland. Gee, I can't wait to go back to work now, we'll be testing everybody since both cases were fairly close to where I work.
  12. by   nicola
    Earlier in the summer I think there was a confirmed case of human WNV on Long Island. People here are more upset about spraying than about the virus!
  13. by   night owl
    I'm not so sure that spraying is so good...all those pesticides. YUCK!!! How healthy can that be? CARCINOGENS??? The virus is bad enough, so why add to it all by spraying and spraying and spraying. And in the end, the mosquitoes win anyway.
  14. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    Debeyed,
    LOL......Love the "miracle of healing" that occurs with focused pt teaching!
    I also used the same format with pt's that were asymptomatic for SOB as thier C/C...TOPIC: ABG's, the horror...the horror...lol,lol
    "well there is a nerve that runs right through there ya know."
    "It's very thin there. The bone is so close to the artery, well anyway if you pass out, at least you'll be lying down"


    Anyhooo, here in the Baltimore area they did try to "hype it up" with the 70 y/o gentleman that died. To thier credit the media did allow the information that he was severely immunocomprimised and that a healthy adult would not have had the same outcome. All I got from the second fatality that was reported was that she was an elderly woman. I don't remember them giving any paticular information.
    I don't think WNV is "sexy" enough to get much press so I wonder if there are more cases we are not hearing about.
  15. by   Rustyhammer
    I have to admit it but I haven't really heard of either wnv or eee.
    Perhaps it's because we don't have many "skeeters" out here in New Mexico.
    Here's my dumb question. Are they the same or is WNV different from EEE?
    I take it that WNV is mosquito caused. Is
    EEE also?

close