West Nile virus found in Stirling area

West Nile virus found in Stirling area

Public health officials say an unusually high number of mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile virus on Cape Cod. West Nile was found in Minnesota in 2002.

In the CDC's most recent update on July 24, the agency stated that 39 people had been infected with the virus, although Iowa health officials said the woman who died was not included in the report.

The Cascade City-County Health Department has confirmed Montana's first case of West Nile Virus (WNV) in a human this year.

First discovered in Uganda in 1937, the virus is carried by birds and spread to humans by mosquitoes.

"The majority of infected individuals have mild or no symptoms", it continues.

"The elderly and those with certain chronic medical problems, including problems with their immune systems, are more susceptible". In severe cases, the virus can cause paralysis or death.

There's no specific treatment or vaccination for the virus, though supportive therapy is provided for severe illness.

The SHA is asking residents in the city and surround area to take precautions to lower their risk, since the positive test results means there is an increased risk of infection.

DUSK and DAWN-This is when mosquitoes are most active. The health department suggests using DEET and other repellents, wearing long sleeves and trousers and avoiding being outside between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

Health officials advise homeowners to get rid of standing water on their property where mosquitoes can breed.

Do not handle dead wildlife with bare hands, the release advises. Empty flower pots, children's toys, uncovered rain barrels and wading pools, and use screens on any windows which are open.