West Nile Virus Information
West Nile Virus, a disease spread by infected mosquitos, has made the news recently due to higher than average reported cases in various parts of the country. While the 13 counties within the North Central Health District have not seen any cases, it serves as a great reminder to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
Ways to reduce the risk of being bitten include:
- Avoid outdoor activity when mosquitoes are most active - at dawn and dusk
- Cover exposed skin if you must be outside
- Use insect repellent with active ingredients such as DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus or picaridin
- Drain standing water
- Repair broken/ripped screens
Around 80 percent of those infected with West Nile show no symptoms; while up to 20 percent have symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a rash.
There is no specific treatment for West Nile virus. People with severe cases are hospitalized and receive supportive care, such as intravenous fluids and respiratory treatment. CDC: Reported Cases by State GDPH: Mosquito-borne Illness Publications GDPH: Information on Mosquito-Borne Illness CDC: Fight the Bite!
For more information about West Nile Virus, click on any of the links below: