For the second year, West Nile virus is in Kansas. The State Health Department confirms the first case of West Nile Virus this season. A pool of mosquitoes in Crawford County tested positive for the disease.
A spokesperson for KDHE says West Nile says it's no surprise, but the virus is here earlier than expected.
The tests are just now in, but scientists collected the pool of mosquitoes on May 28. That means West Nile has been in the state for about a month now.
State Epidemiologist Dr. Gail Hansen says there's no need to panic.
Dr. Gail Hansen says, "I think we need to be real prepared is the word I'd use, to be prepared is the best thing we can do and we can do that."
To protect yourself from West Nile virus, use insect repellant that contains DEET. Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when you're outside at dusk or dawn. Drain any standing water around your home, and make sure you have screens that fit well on your windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
Symptoms of West Nile are usually mild. They include a slight fever, headache and body ache. About one in 150 infected people develop serious symptoms like swelling of the brain. The elderly, the very young and those with impaired immune systems are most at risk.
The state is asking you to report dead birds including crows, bluejays and birds of prey. For specific details, call 1-866-452-7810.
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West Nile virus Facts
- The West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne virus that can cause encephalitis (an inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord) in humans and other animals.
- The virus is named after the West Nile region of Uganda where it was first isolated in1937.
- The virus appeared for the first time in the United States during a 1999 outbreak in New York that killed seven people.
How is the West Nile virus Spread?
- The virus is spread to humans, birds and other animals through the bite of an infected mosquito.
- A mosquito becomes infected by biting a bird that is carrying the virus.
- West Nile virus is not spread from person to person, and no evidence indicates the virus can be spread directly from birds to humans.
- Only a small population of mosquitoes are likely to be infected and most people bitten by an infected mosquito do not become sick.
- 1 in 300 people bitten by an infected mosquito get sick.
- 1 in 100-150 who get sick become seriously ill.
- 3 to 15 percent of those seriously ill die.
Symptoms of the Virus
- The symptoms generally appear about 3 to 6 days after exposure. People over the age of 50 are at a greater risk of severe illness.
- Milder symptoms include: Slight fever, headache, body aches, swollen glands and/or sometimes a skin rash.
- Severe symptoms include: High fever, intense headache, stiff neck, and/or confusion.
- Control mosquitoes from breeding around your home. Remove standing water from any item or area that can hold water. Standing water is a perfect breeding place for mosquitoes.
- Wear long and light colored clothing.
- Use insect repellent products with no ore than 20-30 percent DEET for adults and less than 10 percent for children.
- Spray repellent on your hands and then apply to your face; spray on clothing, as well. Be sure repellent is safe for human skin and clothing.
- Wash off repellent daily and reapply as needed.
- Stay inside at dawn and dusk because that is when mosquitoes are most active.
Source: www.vdh.state.va.us contributed to this report