Two Test Positive for West Nile Virus in Dane County
Wednesday, October 5, 2016 - 9:12am
Public Urged to Continue to take Precautions against Mosquito Bites
According to initial test results, two residents of Dane County tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV). These are the first local cases reported this season, although 2 cases have been reported to date in Wisconsin.
WNV is spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito and is not transmitted person to person. Although few mosquitoes actually carry the virus, it is important to take steps to minimize your exposure even this late in the mosquito season. John Hausbeck, PHMDC Environmental Health supervisor says “with the warm, wet weather this late summer and fall our mosquito season has extended longer than in past years”.
The likelihood of contracting WNV infection is low and most people infected with the virus will not have symptoms. Those who do become ill may develop a fever, headache, rash, muscle and joint aches, nausea, vomiting and fatigue that can last a few days. Symptoms may begin 3 to 15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. In rare cases, severe diseases including encephalitis and meningitis can develop from WNV infection. Older adults and people with compromised immune systems are at an increased risk of severe disease caused by the virus.
There is no specific treatment for WNV infection other than to treat symptoms. If you think you have WNV infection, contact your healthcare provider.
Mosquito activity will persist until there is frost or a hard freeze. Until such time, it is a good idea to follow the standard advice to minimize your exposure to mosquito bites.
- Limit time spent outside at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
- Apply insect repellant to clothing as well as exposed skin because mosquitoes may bite through clothing.
- Make sure window and door screens are in good repair to prevent mosquito entry.
- Properly dispose of items that hold water, such as tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or discarded tires to prevent mosquito breeding. Turn over wheelbarrows, wading pools, boats and canoes when not in use.
- Clean roof gutters and downspouts for proper drainage.
- Change the water in birdbaths and pet dishes at least every three days.
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs; drain water from pool covers.
- Trim tall grass, weeds and vines because mosquitoes use these areas to rest during hot daylight hours.
- Landscape to prevent water from pooling in low-lying areas.
For further background information regarding West Nile virus
For additional questions about WNV in Dane County, call Public Health Madison and Dane County at (608) 266-4821.
- Jeff Golden, (608) 243-0302, email@example.com