Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

Questions being raised about impact of West Nile Virus in Belmont County

Questions being raised about impact of West Nile Virus in Belmont County

Earlier this week, the St. Louis County Department of Public Health recorded its first human case of West Nile Virus for the year, and "Today in St. Louis" set to find out the age-old question: Just what can you do to prevent further spread of mosquitos?

Cases of the disease have been confirmed in 36 states including California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina and Texas, according to the CDC.

Health officials said that doesn't automatically mean there's cause for alarm.

The risk of West Nile virus infection is at a level not seen since 2012 when an outbreak infected 290 IL residents, the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District announced Thursday. "These factors indicate that the risk for human West Nile virus infections is elevated and will likely remain elevated through the remainder of August".

Although there is no vaccine to protect against West Nile Virus, over-the-counter pain medication can help treat symptoms such as fever. MDH says there were 30 West Nile cases last year and 83 the year before.

Health officials say the virus has been detected in 169 mosquito samples from across the state. Of those who develop a serious illness from the virus, one in 10 die, according to officials.

Health departments have also encouraged residents to remove items from the outside of their home that contain water - such as buckets or pet dishes - because it can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Wear long sleeves and trousers or wear repellent to help protect yourself from getting bitten.

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