As great as this summer is, it is time to start thinking about fall. Getting ready for back to school, the Vikings, cooler temperatures, leaves turning color, and most importantly… the MTA Industry Showcase!
We know times are changing and the MTA needs to make changes to keep our programs current, relevant, and informative. To that end, the MTA Event Planning Committee and staff have been working with the Video Peer Group, IT Peer Group, and Economic Development Committee to create the MTA’s first-ever Industry Showcase. This new event will open with a general session on diversifying your business. It will continue with separate tracks giving attendees the most current, up-to-date information on Video, IT, and our second Telework Summit. Know you want to attend, but don’t know which sessions you want to attend? It doesn’t matter; you can mix and match sessions to meet your individual needs. Don’t wait…
Maximize your company's exposure to the MTA membership at the 2012 Industry Showcase. MTA members will be coming to Minneapolis from all over the state to learn more about the important issues facing our industry - and this is your opportunity to get your company’s message in front of them. Thank you in advance for your sponsorship consideration and all you do to support the MTA. Without your support, events like this would not be possible!
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SEE YOU AT THE 2012 MTA INDUSTRY SHOWCASE!
News broadcasts are reporting cases of the West Nile virus in humans almost on a daily basis. WCCO-Channel 4 News reported this week that there is good news and bad news surrounding the number of West Nile cases in Minnesota. The good news is that only 1 percent of the people bitten by mosquitos with the West Nile virus will become seriously ill. The bad news isthat cases are rising rapidly. We are currently up to 28 serious cases and one death in Minnesota; we haven’t had this many cases by this date since 2007.
The number of nationwide cases so far this year is the highest recorded through August since the disease was first detected in the United States in 1999. As of August 21, 38 states had reported human infections. The cases reported to the CDC as of Tuesday total 1,118, including 41 deaths.
The primary carrier is the Culex pipiens mosquito. These mosquitoes become infected from feasting on infected birds, and then pass the virus on when they bite humans and animals. A few people have been infected through blood transfusions, organ transplants, and breastfeeding. However, normal contact with infected animals, such as horses or people, does not spread the virus.
Definition and Symptoms
The West Nile virus isn't easy to detect right away. Most people infected with this disease of the central nervous system have no symptoms. Any symptoms tend to develop within 3 to 14 days of being bitten by an infected mosquito. Some people experience flu-like symptoms and possible swollen glands or skin rashes for a few days. For the less than 1 percent who develop a severe illness, the following may occur: high fever; headache; neck stiffness; confusion; coma; shaking; seizures; muscle weakness; loss of vision; numbness; and/or paralysis.
We don't currently have a treatment or human vaccine for West Nile virus. Medical care involves treatment of the symptoms only.
Who Is Most at Risk?
- Those who spend a lot of time outdoors, especially when mosquitoes are most active
- People older than 50 tend to get sicker if infected
How to Avoid West Nile Virus
The best way to avoid being infected is to not get bitten. Communities that diagnose cases of West Nile virus often start mosquito control programs by regularly killing mosquito larvae and spraying adult mosquitoes. But you should take your own precautions if you live in these danger areas.
Precautions you can take include:
- Avoid being out at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active
- Wear light-colored long sleeves and pants if you are outside in areas with large mosquito populations
- When outside, apply mosquito repellents
- Keep screens repaired and doors shut tight
- Empty standing water around your home from potential mosquito breeding grounds such as old tires, buckets, flower pots, and wading pools - and change water weekly in bird baths
- Treat swimming pools and keep water circulating
- Do not touch dead birds
Experts say that this is the peak of the season, and they expect to see more cases as the late summer and early fall months roll on. The mosquitoes that carry the West Nile virus don’t die with a killer frost like other species; they do go dormant for the cold season, but that won’t happen for a while.
Dan Berg, M.S.
Lead Safety Consultant
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