September 21, 2018

First ever Charlotte County case of West Nile Virus confirmed

08 September 2018, 08:12 | Silvia Roy

Mosquitos at the Berkshire County Mosquito Control Project in Pittsfield. Eagle File

Mosquitos at the Berkshire County Mosquito Control Project in Pittsfield. Eagle File

West Nile Virus is a disease that's transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. In rare cases, severe illness including meningitis, encephalitis or even death can occur.

A total of 134 human cases of West Nile virus were diagnosed in CT residents before 2018.

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Adults 50 years or older and those with weakened immune symptoms are at risk of developing more severe symptoms such as acute headache, high fever, stiff neck, nausea or vomiting, difficulty swallowing or confusion. There are no reported West Nile Virus cases in humans in 2018.

"We have a flock of chickens that we keep in different strategic locations around the county and then we can take blood samples from those chickens to see if they are developing antibodies to virus", said Eric Jackson of the Lee County Mosquito Control District.

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Officials also recommend wearing loose long sleeved shirts and long trousers if you do have to be outside which can tend to be tough in Louisiana's sweltering heat. Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide longer-lasting protection. Insect repellents should not be used on children under two months of age.

- Make sure your doors and windows have screens to keep mosquitoes out of your house.

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REPEL - When outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long trousers and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535, according to label instructions. Use your air conditioning, if you have it. Empty standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires, and birdbaths on a regular basis. "Today's announcement illustrates why we continue to urge everyone to be vigilant about avoiding mosquito bites".

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