West Nile virus claims first NC victim this season

West Nile virus risk rising in southeast Sask

West Nile virus risk rising in southeast Sask

The state Department of Health & Human Services would only say the victim was an adult living in the southeastern part of the state and that it occurred last week.

Mosquitoes with West Nile virus have been found in Benton County this year since June 26, when a sample collected in West Richland tested positive.

Mosquitoes are usually just irritating, but certain mosquitoes carry West Nile Virus, which can be deadly. About one in five people infected develop other symptoms, including a fever.

"Usually we detect West Nile virus in dead birds first, but this year we've been getting very few dead bird reports from the public, so we haven't had many to test", said Schutz. "We see most cases of West Nile virus from July through November". In about 1 percent of infections, West Nile virus can cause a severe illness affecting the central nervous system, such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord). Other mosquito-borne viruses transmitted in the state that cause human illness include LaCrosse and Eastern equine encephalitis viruses.

Use an EPA-registered mosquito repellent and apply according the manufacturer's instructions.

Officials are advising the public to remove standing water as well.

To reduce the opportunity for mosquitoes to breed, the department suggests ensuring draining pipes are properly sloped and to eliminate sources of standing water around your home, including birdbaths, pet dishes and garbage cans.

Install or fix screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside, and if possible, use air conditioning. The agency issued a warning to residents of the North Shore that the level of West Nile virus activity is moderate and increasing.

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