Georgia Department of Public Health officials promote West Nile awareness

Erica Murray
September 2, 2017

California health officials said Friday that three people have died of West Nile virus this summer, marking the first deaths in what could be a particularly unsafe season for the disease.

As of Friday, the state has reported 87 human cases of West Nile virus from 13 California counties this year.

Macomb County Health Division Director Bill Ridella said this is yet another reminder to protect yourself from mosquito bites. Additionally, 239 dead birds from 30 counties have tested positive for the virus in 2017, and 2,284 mosquito samples from 24 counties have also tested positive for West Nile virus this year.

"It's important to know the symptoms of being bitten by a mosquito that is carrying West Nile virus". Of the 20 per cent who do have symptoms, most will experience mild illness that can include fever, headache, body ache, nausea, vomiting, and a rash on the chest, stomach or back.

The elderly, those with compromised immune systems or those with underlying medical conditions are at greater risk for complications from the disease.

Sims said they're the only West Nile Support group in the nation, and things are so well, the they can now help people across the country. Mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus look for stagnant water to lay eggs in, so gutters and eaves should be clear of leaves and debris.

Install or fix screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside. In 2016, there were 37 cases of West Nile virus in Kansas. State public health officials withheld demographic information, hospitals providing care or more precise regions where the infections occurred, citing patient privacy laws. Four horses have tested positive in the following counties: Bourbon, Franklin, Hart and Russell. The CDC recommends products with the active ingredients of DEET, Picaridin or IR3535.

The Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito & Vector Control District reminds the public to protect themselves from mosquitoes, especially as many will be enjoying fun outdoor activities for the long holiday weekend.

There are no medications to treat or vaccines to prevent West Nile virus infection.

Local health departments set traps to collect mosquitoes.

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