First suspected case of West Nile virus reported in Morgan County
A Morgan County man who was recently treated for suspected West Nile virus is believed to be the first
case of the disease here. West Nile virus is usually spread by the bite of an infected mosquito and is not contagious.
According to the Centers For Disease Control, milder symptoms of the disease include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach or back. These symptoms occur in 20% of those who become infected with the virus and may last several days to
Around one in 150 people develop serious symptoms such as high fever, headache, neck stiffness, disorientation, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis.
Most get no symptoms
Symptoms generally develop three to 14 days after being bitten by the infected mosquito. About 80% of those infected with West Nile virus will have no symptoms at all.
Milder cases of West Nile virus usually improve on their own, but the Centers For Disease Control advises
anyone that develops serious symptoms like severe headaches or confusion to seek medical attention immediately.
People over age 50 have a higher risk of getting very ill from the disease
if they get infected. They should be especially careful to avoid getting mosquito bites, their information noted.
National, state cases
As of October 16, there have been 4,531 human cases of West Nile virus, including 183 deaths, reported to the Centers For Disease Control for 2012.
It is the highest amount of cases of the disease reported since 2003.
The majority of the cases have been found in Texas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Illinois, South Dakota, Michigan and Oklahoma, with more than a third of them occurring in Texas. West Virginia has six confirmed cases at present.
Prevent West Nile virus
The Centers For Disease Control offered some tips for families and individuals to protect themselves from West Nile virus:
Use an insect repellent containing DEET or other Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered active ingredients when outdoors.
People should also wear long sleeves and long pants in the early morning and in the evening at dusk when mosquitoes are the most active.
Have good screens on the doors and windows in one’s home and patch any holes on window screens.
Eliminate mosquito-breeding grounds around one’s home and property by emptying or removing items that can collect stagnant water where mosquitoes can lay eggs.
Empty any standing water from flower pots, plant saucers, buckets, barrels, containers, tarps and tires.
Drain wading pools and children’s toys that can collect water. Turn wading pools over.
Change the water in pet water dishes and dump bird bath water frequently.
Keep gutters clear of leaves and cover trash cans.