West Nile Virus is all over Shawnee County

Casey Dawson
August 26, 2017

Humboldt County Public Health officials say the local risk is limited because the virus is transmitted by mosquitoes, not humans. "This death is a tragic reminder of how unsafe West Nile virus can be", said Laura Cronquist, an epidemiologist with the North Dakota Department of Health.

It's nevertheless imperative that Santa Clara County residents report daytime-biting mosquitoes so that officials can stop them before a population boom spreads devastating disease, like Zika, which can cause severe fetal brain defects. Hopkins had two cases of West Nile. All cases have occurred in adults, according to a state news release.

Symptoms of WNV infection are often mild and may include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, a rash, muscle weakness or swollen lymph nodes.

In Larimer County year to date, there have been three confirmed cases of West Nile. He also recommends using insect repellent and wearing trousers and long sleeves while outdoors.

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When used as directed, insect repellent is the best way to protect yourself from mosquito bites. Consider using clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks and tents) that are treated with permethrin (an insecticide).

Recently, there has been a rise in the number of positive mosquito pools for West Nile virus in Ontario, two of which were collected in Brantford and Brant County. Don't apply repellents containing permethrin directly to skin. Most people with these symptoms will recover completely, and can recover on their own. For patients who have a severe infection, they need to be hospitalized to have supportive treatment like pain medication, intravenous fluids, and nursing care.

The majority of people (80 percent) who are infected with West Nile Virus do not get sick. West Nile was detected in the Newman area earlier than usual this year, which Heft attributes to the spring floods that left standing water in which mosquitoes reproduce.

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