State confirms first West Nile Virus death for 2018

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State confirms first West Nile Virus death for 2018

There are no West Nile vaccines licensed for use in humans, and no medications to cure West Nile disease once a person is infected by a mosquito.

KUTV-TV reports mosquitoes with the West Nile virus were reported in Davis, Box Elder and Uintah Counties this week.

The North Dakota Health Department has been urging people to take precautions to protect themselves from the virus, said Jenny Galbraith, surveillance epidemiologist in the department's Division of Disease Control.

Two human cases of West Nile have been reported in North Dakota this summer-one each in Ramsey and Ransom counties. The county health department is taking an aggressive approach in fighting the problem. Such symptoms include, but are not limited to: fever, headache, body ache, fatigue, nausea, and rash. "West Nile is endemic to the area, so that means we're going to see it every year", said David Zazra, communications manager for the agency.

She says the Mosquito Abatement programs throughout the state are critical for keeping health departments informed about pools of active mosquitos.

"Positive mosquito tests are a reminder that preventative measures are important", Faisal Khan, St. Louis County Health director, said in a news release. While the majority of people infected with WNV have no symptoms, the virus can cause serious symptoms in some people, especially those over 65 years old and those who are immunocompromised.

Horses should be kept inside during dawn and dusk, which are peak hours for mosquito activity.

Mosquito-proof your home. Make sure that doors and windows have tight fitting screens. Use insect repellent, wear long sleeve and trousers, or consider staying indoors during these hours.

When you are outdoors, use insect repellent containing an EPA-registered active ingredient on skin and clothing, including DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out.

Use an approved repellent according to its label.

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