February 18, 2019

DHHS reports 1st state death related to West Nile Virus

26 July 2018, 10:43 | Silvia Roy

DHHS reports 1st state death related to West Nile Virus

DHHS reports 1st state death related to West Nile Virus

State health officials say people can help stop the spread of West Nile by eliminating standing water from around homes, using insect repellent containing DEET and by staying indoors at dusk and dawn.

West Nile virus is spread to humans through bites of infected mosquitoes, according to the release.

No human cases of West Nile virus have been confirmed in Clay County at this time. "While most infected people recover without any long-term problems, some develop a more severe infection that can lead to complications and even death - especially in those over 50 years of age".

Steps to avoid contracting West Nile include using insect repellent with DEET, wearing long-sleeved, light coloured shirts, trousers and a hat while doing activities outdoors, or staying inside at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active. It was the first bird that tested positive since the county began watching for the virus May 1.

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The mosquito species Culex is the main culprit for spreading the virus.

Mosquitoes need very little water to breed. Aedes aegypti is not found in CT but a related species, Aedes albopictus, has been identified in the southwestern area of the state and it is also considered capable of transmission of the Zika virus.

Recent samples collected from the West End and North Side have tested positive for the virus, according to the health department.

Symptoms may last from a few days to a few weeks.

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Make sure you have good screens on your windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.

For more information on mosquito-borne illnesses, visit the MSDH website. Consult a physician before using repellents on young children.

"These infections are rare, but this is a tragic reminder that they can be fatal", said Public Health Veterinarian Carl Williams. Dunks can be picked up at the Health Department during normal business hours, Monday - Friday, from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

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