Published: Fri, September 01, 2017
Medical | By Rita Mcdonald

Mosquitoes in Redding test positive for West Nile virus

Mosquitoes in Redding test positive for West Nile virus

Certain mosquito species carry West Nile virus, which can cause humans to contract West Nile encephalitis, an infection that can result in an inflammation of the brain. The virus survives in nature in birds and is transmitted by mosquitoes that feed on infected birds. Older adults and persons with weakened immune systems and/or other chronic illnesses are at the greatest risk for severe illness.

"Most people who contract West Nile virus show no symptoms at all, or show mild symptoms, and will recover without a visit to the doctor", said Daniel Soule, MD, infectious disease specialist at CPH, who consulted with doctors who treated the patient.

The first local cases of West Nile virus this year have been reported. The pools are then tested in labs, and if they test positive, Hougaard said his crews go and spray those areas.

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He said symptoms of West Nile can mimic those of flu or what people call "stomach flu". In a very small number of cases, West Nile virus has been spread through blood transfusions; organ transplants; and from mother to baby during pregnancy, delivery or breastfeeding. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development says West Nile virus was confirmed in eight horses, including at least one in Ottawa County. "Be aware, try to limit the mosquito population, try not to get bit by mosquitoes". However, some people do develop febrile illness, which can produce fever, headaches, body aches, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. The health unit encourages the public to seek medical attention if they are experiencing any symptoms related to West Nile virus. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] according to the instructions on the product label.

Apply insect repellents on exposed skin or clothing.

Minimize time spent outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

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Mosquitoes breed in standing water.

Frequently replace the water in pet bowls.

Wear light colored, long-sleeved shirts and long trousers when outdoors.

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