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Increased virus activity observed

Health Department reports higher West Nile cases

September 5, 2012
The Inter-Mountain

There has been a recent increase in West Nile virus activity among mosquitoes, according to information from the Randolph-Elkins Health Department and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources' Bureau for Public Health.

Mosquito surveillance data shows 41 of 200 (20.5 percent) collected mosquito pools have tested positive for West Nile virus. The majority of the positive mosquito pools were collected June 28 to July 10. In comparison, by the same time last year, 1 of 70 (1.4 percent) mosquito pools was positive for West Nile virus.

So far this year, there has been one human case of West Nile illness and several more cases are under investigation.

Symptoms of West Nile virus include fever, headache, body aches, fatigue, confusion, weakness, nausea, vomiting and stiff neck.

The Randolph-Elkins Health Department has issued important mosquito-bite-prevention tips:

1. Reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and neighborhood by emptying standing or stagnant water from cans, bottles, old tires, wading pools, flower pots and other containers.

2. Clean out clogged gutters and drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers to eliminate mosquito breeding habitats. There is no container too small when it comes to potential breeding grounds for mosquitoes that carry the West Nile virus.

3. Make sure all windows have proper screens to help keep mosquitoes out of your home.

4. When outdoors, protect yourself and your children by wearing long, loose, light-colored clothing and by using mosquito repellants according to the manufacturer's recommendations.

The West Virginia Bureau for Public Health will continue to monitor West Nile activity with dead bird, horse and mosquito surveillance. People who see dead birds should contact their local health departments. Birds are tested for West Nile and other mosquito-borne diseases through the West Virginia Office of Laboratory Services.

More information is available by calling the Randolph-Elkins Health Department at 304-636-0396 or the Division of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at 1-304-558-5358 or 1-800-432-1271. Information also is available at www.dide.wv.gov.

 
 

 

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