West Nile virus found in Spokane County mosquitoes

West Nile virus found in Spokane County mosquitoes

Birds are the natural reservoir hosts of the virus.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture has confirmed the first positive cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) in Ohio horses for 2018. The agency says that the chances of a person contracting WNV are very low and most people infected with WNV will not have any symptoms. Of the 351 cities and towns in MA, 162 are already considered to be at moderate risk for West Nile Virus. "We urge those who are recreating outdoors to take common sense steps to prevent bug bites, including the use of mosquito repellents, along with wearing long trousers and long-sleeved shirts". Although less than one percent of people who are infected develop severe illness, some are at higher risk of severe disease, including those who are age 60 or older, and those with compromised immune systems or underlying medical conditions.

"There are a growing number of mosquitoes in the county carrying the disease, so it is now especially important that residents be vigilant in protecting themselves from mosquito bites, particularly in the hours from dusk to dawn", said Ilene Risk, the department's epidemiology director.

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During 2002, the state documented its first human infections and 52 cases were reported that year. Clinical signs for WNV include flu-like symptoms, where the horse seems mildly anorexic and depressed. West Nile virus infections in humans have been reported from June through October. Any activity that prevents mosquitoes from biting or breeding can help to reduce the risk.

Drain Standing Water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Anything that can hold water can be a mosquito breeding area. Check the product label for instructions on proper use.

Use mosquito repellents containing DEET, making sure to follow the directions on the container.

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