Published: Sun, August 05, 2018
Medical | By Mark Scott

First Human Case of West Nile Virus in Butte Co: Public Health

First Human Case of West Nile Virus in Butte Co: Public Health

The initial body fluid sample taken from the 24-year-old woman and sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune has been confirmed as that of the West Nile viral infection.

Less than 1 percent of infected people develop the sometimes fatal neuro-invasive illness.

Receding floodwaters and heavy rains across Pennsylvania are creating a flawless storm of conditions, that have contributed to the highest level of West Nile virus activity in the mosquito population since the disease was first introduced in 2000.

Mosquitoes of the genus Culex, the type that transmits West Nile, were collected in a trap on East Baldwin Street July 26, according to a post on the Hackettstown Police Department Facebook page. "It takes only a small amount of standing water, in a bird bath, in an old auto tire, in overturned lids, in empty pots, anywhere, to provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes".

"Mosquitoes are weak flyers and won't travel far from where they are born - if there are mosquitoes in your backyard or neighborhood, they are likely laying eggs there as well", said Helwig, "If you're being bitten by mosquitoes, they are 9 times out of 10 coming from your property".

There were a total of 25 reported human cases in 2017, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare's website.

Sleep under a mosquito bed net if air conditioned or screened rooms are not available or if you are sleeping outdoors. Eliminate or drain all sources of standing water on your property, including flower pots, old vehicle tires, rain gutters and pet bowls. Common breeding sites include old tires, flowerpots and clogged rain gutters.

Be particularly careful at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

"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".

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, when people are infected with the West Nile virus, they may not exhibit any symptoms.

To combat the risk of infection, residents are advised to use mosquito repellent, wear long trousers and sleeves to cover exposed skin, and avoid areas where mosquitoes congregate. However, health officials said some severe cases of the virus can also lead to meningitis, encephalitis, paralysis and even death.

The Department of Environmental Protection says it has found mosquitoes infected with the virus in 51 of Pennsylvania's 67 counties.

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