Published: Tue, August 08, 2017
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

Mosquitoes Test Positive for West Nile Virus in Union County

Mosquitoes Test Positive for West Nile Virus in Union County

There's a good deal of summer remaining, and that means that mosquitoes will be with us for several more months, and we need to take the proper precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

West Nile Virus causes mild-to-severe flu symptoms. The recipients are considered "dead end hosts", meaning that they do not in turn spread the virus directly or indirectly through mosquitoes.

The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department sent out mosquito bite prevention tips on Monday, after testing found mosquitoes were carrying the West Nile virus and La Crosse virus in Kanawha County.

The majority of people (80 percent) who are infected with West Nile virus do not get sick. But, serious illness such as encephalitis and meningitis, with lingering complications and even death, are possible.

■ Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), or PMD to exposed skin, following the manufacturer's instructions.

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■ If possible, wear long sleeves and long trousers.

Make sure you have good screens on your windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of your home.

Minimize time spent outdoors around dusk and dawn. Minimize outdoor activities during this time, if possible. This is the first bird that tested positive for West Nile virus in Racine County since surveillance for the mosquito-transmitted virus began May 1st of this year.

The county and state are enjoying a low-activity season with the virus, as statewide only 115 dead birds are confirmed to have the virus as opposed to 718 at the same time previous year, according to the district.

Patients present with West Nile virus each year in Kanawha County, according to John Law, spokesman for the health department.

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