Public health officials warn of increased West Nile activity

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The first confirmed human case of West Nile Virus in Butte County has been announced Thursday morning by the Butte County Public Health Department. "We advise everyone to take the appropriate precautions no matter what ZIP Code you live in". Blood donors carrying the virus are detected and reported more rapidly than human cases, who first have to show symptoms and then see a doctor.

West Nile Virus affects the nervous system and some mild symptoms include fever, headaches and muscle aches that can last days to weeks.

People 60 and older or people with medical conditions are at the greatest risk.

Beadle County is one of five counties with mosquito detections, meaning that of the Culex Tarsalis (virus carriers) mosquitoes the city of Huron has collected and sent to Pierre there were some that were positive for West Nile. "By eliminating places for mosquitoes to lay eggs, using insect repellent and other protective measures, and targeted use of pesticides, we can all make sure Pennsylvanians are protected". Always follow label instructions carefully. They say people should wear mosquito repellant that contains 10-35 percent DEET, wear light-colored clothing and stay inside during dusk.

More information on the state's mosquito testing can be found here.

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Past year there was one non-deadly human case in the Louisville area.

There were 68 cases of West Nile Virus in Colorado in 2017.

The Department of Public Health and Wellness has also advised residents to mosquito-proof their homes by installing fix screens to keep the insects outside, using an air conditioning system, and emptying standing water.

Matt Helwig, a Biologist with the Department of Environmental Protection says it only takes a small amount of standing water for mosquitos to breed.

A mosquito that was captured as a sample insect in Upper Saucon Township, Lehigh County, tested positive for the disease July 26, according to the Pennsylvania West Nile Virus Control Program website, which monitors the spread of the disease in the state each summer.

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