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West Nile is a virus most commonly spread to people by mosquito bites. In North America, cases of West Nile virus (WNV) occur during mosquito season, which starts in the summer and continues through fall. WNV cases have been reported in all of the continental United States. There are no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat WNV in people. Fortunately, most people infected with WNV do not have symptoms. About 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever and other symptoms. About 1 out of 150 infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, illness. You can reduce your risk of WNV by using insect repellent and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants to prevent mosquito bites.

For the latest human case count in Douglas County, click here.

 

What Can I do to Prevent WNV?

The easiest and best way to avoid WNV is to prevent mosquito bites.

  • When you are outdoors, use 

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with one of the active ingredients below. When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

    • DEET
    • Picaridin (known as KBR 3023 and icaridin outside the US)
    • IR3535
    • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD)
    • 2-undecanone
  • Find the insect repellent that’s right for you by using EPA’s search tool.
  • Many mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn. Be sure to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants at these times or considers staying indoors during these hours
  • Make sure you have good screens on your windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out
  • Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets and barrels. Change water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out. Keep children's wading pools empty and on their sides when they aren't being used.

 

What are the Symptoms of WNV?

  • Serious Symptoms in a Few People. About 1 in 150 people will develop severe symptoms including high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. The symptoms may last several weeks and neurological effects may be permanent.
  • Milder Symptoms in Some People. Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected have symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting and sometimes swollen lymph glands or skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms can last for a few days, though even healthy people have become sick for several weeks.
  • No Symptoms in Most People. Approximately 80 percent of people (about 4 out of 5) who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all

 

How is WNV Spread?

  • Infected mosquitoes
  • Transfusions, transplants and mother-to-child
  • NOT through touching

 

More Information

 

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