Health Care

Joseph County Health Department warns about West Nile virus

Joseph County Health Department warns about West Nile virus”

The virus is transmitted through mosquito bites.

More people could have been infected with a less serious form of the illness and not realized or reported it, district spokeswoman Jennifer Sizemore said.

The LaSalle County Health Department has received confirmation that mosquitoes from Peru have tested positive for the West Nile virus.

Summer is slowly coming to an end, but health officials say ticks and mosquitoes are not.

Dressing in light-coloured clothing - including trousers, a long-sleeved shirt and a hat - can help discourage mosquitoes from biting, according to Kennedy. "For those individuals who are a little reticent about applying insect repellent to young children, it's really important to keep their skin covered and keep them inside and away from mosquitoes during these times of the day". Additionally, she said, Albertans should be using an approved insect repellent containing DEET or Icaridin and could consider limiting the time they spend outside. About 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever and other symptoms.

According to the CDC, almost 60,000 cases of tickborne diseases, including Lyme disease, were reported by state health departments a year ago.

West Nile can cause overwhelming fatigue, awful muscle aches and headaches, according to doctors, and those who survive severe cases of the illness report ongoing problems with fatigue and neurological problems.

Severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, vision loss and paralysis.

"We are doing a lot of investigations in the community to identify mosquito pools; to see where the mosquitos are growing and then deciding the measures to decrease that population", Leguen said.

Mosquitoes in 32 Clark County ZIP codes have tested positive for the virus, the Health District said. "That is one of the things I wanted drive home".

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