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Two cases of West Nile virus reported in Johnson County

03 August 2018

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, all residents in areas where virus activity has been identified are at risk of contracting West Nile encephalitis. Lyon and most surrounding counties remain in a moderate risk while Chase and Morris counties have been elevated from moderate to high risk. They typically develop two to 14 days after a bite from an infected mosquito. About one out of 150 infected people develop swelling of the brain or brain tissue, that in some cases, can result in death. There are no vaccines or medications to treat West Nile. People who are elderly, have compromised immunity, have cancer, have alcoholism or other factors that make them more susceptible to a neuroinvasive disease are more at risk.

A blood donor in Sanilac County tested positive for the virus, health officials said.

Amler added that people spending time outdoors should use repellents "from dawn to dusk". Follow the directions on the package. Knowing which kinds of mosquitoes are active in our state is critical for our disease prevention strategies. "So does receiving an organ transplant", according to the CDC, which also noted the risk can be lessened by wearing long sleeves and trousers, using insect repellent and keeping screens on windows and doors.

Maintain window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes outside.

The health unit wants homeowners to reduce standing water - a breeding ground for mosquitoes - by emptying rain gutters, flower pots, children's toys and bird baths. Fill tree holes with sand and seal with mortar and remove tree stumps that may hold water.

Most WNV infections occur in the late summer and early fall.

The insects were captured on July 24. There have been more than 600 cases of the most severe form of WNV and 30 deaths in Kansas from 1999-2017. Severe symptoms of WNV are associated with encephalitis or meningitis, and may include a stiff neck, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, muscle weakness, convulsions and paralysis.

Two cases of West Nile virus reported in Johnson County