Human case of West Nile Virus reported in Cascade County
Cascade County public health officials have reported the state’s first case of West Nile Virus in a human. The last human case reported in Cascade County was in 2015.
WNV is a virus most commonly spread to people by mosquito bites. The severity and symptoms of WNV can vary widely. About 80 percent of persons infected experience no symptoms, but up to 20 percent of persons can develop a mild illness, called West Nile fever. West Nile fever generally resolves itself without treatment, but dangerous brain infections such as encephalitis or meningitis can develop in 1 out of 150 people.
Symptoms of these diseases might include headache, rash, high fever, stiff neck, mental confusion, muscle weakness, tremors, convulsions, coma and paralysis. Individuals who develop any of these symptoms should see their healthcare provider immediately.
There is no vaccine to prevent or medications to treat WNV in people so the single best defense is bite prevention. To protect yourself, use the 4 Ds:
- DEET-Apply repellent containing an EPA-registered active ingredient, such as DEET, and follow the directions on the package.
- DUSK and DAWN-This is when mosquitoes are most active. Try to avoid outdoor activities during these times.
- DRAIN STANDING WATER-Standing water is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Drain such areas around your home (gutters, pools, tires, buckets, water bowls, etc.).
- DRESS APPROPRIATELY-Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks.
In June, County Commissioners approved increasing the Mosquito Control Fund by $45,000 for additional chemical needed to treat mosquitoes in our area after heavy rains and flooding. Targeted efforts have been ongoing and reduction of mosquito populations in fogged areas is ranging from 50-90 percent. Efforts will continue, but residents are strongly urged to continue taking steps to protect themselves.