Published: Sat, June 02, 2018
Medicine | By Tracy Klein

Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile

Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile

"As we expected, the very warm weather we had earlier this week likely increased the number of mosquitoes and accelerated virus activity in both birds and mosquito populations", said Gary Goodman, the district's manager.

Butte County officials urge horse owners to vaccinate their animals for West Nile virus, an illness transmitted to animals and people through infected mosquitoes.

Apply an EPA-registered insect repellent to clothing as well as exposed skin since mosquitoes may bite through clothing. Try to keep doors and windows shut.

Properly dispose of items around your property that hold water, such as tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots, or discarded tires.

Clean roof gutters and downspouts for proper drainage.

"Reduce the source...repel the mosquitoes and then report if you see things like dead birds around".

Trim tall grass, weeds, and vines since mosquitoes use these areas to rest during hot daylight hours.

State health department officials say: "Common symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches". However, four out of five people infected with West Nile virus will not show any symptoms. Only in extreme cases does a person infected with the virus display symptoms like high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. During 2017, 48 cases of West Nile virus infection were reported among Wisconsin residents.

People with pre-existing medical conditions like cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease or someone having had recent organ transplants run a higher risk of getting seriously ill after being infected.

The first batch of mosquitoes to test positive was in Northern Illinois, not Southern Illinois. During 2002, the state documented its first human infections with 52 cases reported that year. Anyone finding a sick or dead crow, blue jay or raven should call the Dead Bird Reporting Hotline, 800-433-1610. "Although we see West Nile virus in IL every year, don't become complacent".

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