Thursday, August 29, 2013
A Sedgwick County resident has died from West Nile virus, health officials said Thursday.
Cases of West Nile have been reported Sedgwick, Atchison and Rush counties in 2013. "Of those, we have one case whose death was filed with the KDHE Office of Vital Statistics as being caused by WNV," said spokesperson Miranda Steele.
The health department confirmed the person who died was a resident of Sedgwick County. The specific location and gender of the person were not released.
Mosquito trapping results in Sedgwick County confirm there are high numbers of mosquitoes and that some of the mosquitoes are carrying West Nile virus. Results can be found on the KDHE website at www.kdheks.gov.
Most people with West Nile virus infection do not have any symptoms. About 20 percent of people infected experience mild symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, nausea and vomiting. Less than 1 percent of people develop severe illness that may require hospitalization. Severe symptoms include neck stiffness, disorientation, tremors, muscle weakness, numbness, paralysis and even coma or death. If you develop severe symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
You can help prevent the spread of West Nile virus and other diseases by following the three Ds: drain, dress and DEET.
Mosquito populations are mostly home grown, so the Sedgwick County Health Department is asking (human) residents to help stop the spread of these diseases by eliminating standing water, which is where mosquitoes breed. Rain water, sprinklers and the like can create pools of standing water in places like bird baths, gutters, empty pots, pet dishes, on top of tarps and in tire swings. If these items don’t drain or the water doesn’t evaporate quickly, empty the water or replace it every couple of days.
Cover your skin with clothing when you are outdoors, especially during the dawn and dusk hours; wear long sleeves, pants, socks and shoes that cover your feet.
Use insect repellent that contains DEET. Follow label instructions and avoid over-application.
The City of Wichita Public Works and Utilities and the Sedgwick County Health Department are collaborating to combat mosquitoes by applying dunks on targeted areas of public land. City of Wichita Neighborhood Inspectors are applying dunks to vacant and abandon swimming pools and distributing information to area neighbors on ways to prevent mosquitoes. Citizens of Sedgwick County and surrounding counties should drain standing water at their homes. If standing water cannot be drained, apply dunks that can be purchased at area garden stores.