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

The first human case of West Nile Virus to be identified this year is a child

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

The Southwest District Health Department said that the man lives in Canyon County, but may have been exposed in Adams County as well.

"In recent years, when one human case occurs in an area, other cases often follow in the same part of the county", Fairfax officials said. The increase in mosquitoes they've identified as being infected with West Nile has come earlier this year than in past years.

"Mosquitoes are weak flyers and won't travel far from where they are born - if there are mosquitoes in your backyard or neighborhood, they are likely laying eggs there as well", said Matt Helwig, a biolgist with the DEP mosquito program.

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The positive test in Oakville came from mosquitoes trapped this week.

The department says 12 Iowans were diagnosed with West Nile virus previous year and two died.

Symptoms include fever, headache and body aches.

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Most infected people don't exhibit any symptoms but if you do you should see a healthcare professional immediately. There were no reported cases of West Nile in the county past year. Drain any standing water in your yard each week. Less than one percent of infected people develop the neuro-invasive form of the illness.

Those most at risk for serious complications are people older than 50 and people with suppressed immune systems.

The health department also suggests mosquito-proofing your home by installing screens on windows and doors and using air conditioning, if available. 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. The types of mosquitoes that transmit WNV to humans most commonly breed in urban areas in places that hold water such as bird baths, plant pots, old toys and tires.

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