Campus community urged to take precautions to avoid West Nile virus

Mosquito on someone's hand

Health Department confirms first case of West Nile Virus in Shelby County

According to the Fairfax County Health Department, an adult resident living in the northeastern part of Fairfax County was hospitalized from the virus. No human infections have been reported at this time.

The Department of Public Health and Wellness said in a release that surveillance traps in three local zip codes turned up infected mosquitoes including 40212, 40213, and 40214.

"West Nile virus is in Iowa", said IDPH Deputy Epidemiologist, Dr. Ann Garvey. The initial body fluid sample taken from the 24-year-old woman and sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune has been confirmed as that of the West Nile viral infection.

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People infected with West Nile virus may show no or very mild symptoms.

The disease is most commonly transmitted to humans through a mosquito bite.

In a very few cases, West Nile fever leads to encephalitis or meningitis with associated neck stiffness, confusion, or seizures. "Get rid of even small amounts of standing water around your home". Less than 1 percent of those people contracting the virus will develop severe symptoms. Those most susceptible are people 50 years old and older and those whose immunity is suppressed because of a disease such as cancer or diabetes. Residents are reminded to wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and trousers and use mosquito repellent containing DEET if older than six months of age.

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Health experts ask the public to use repellant to help prevent mosquito bites.

Callanan said the efforts residents are making to reduce mosquito breeding sites on their properties are helping every year.

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