Barton County has many mosquitoes and this time of year, unfortunately, West Nile Virus has popped up. One case has been identified by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment as a neuroinvasive case and one as a non-neuroinvasive case.
The first incident of West Nile was identified in Kansas in 2002.
Mosquitoes carry the virus, which can cause no symptoms to severe symptoms. In fact, less than one percent of victims develop the neuroinvasive, severe type, resulting in meningitis or encephalitis.
Seventy to 80 percent of people who become infected with West Nile virus do not develop symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
About 1 in 5 people will develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Most people with this type of West Nile virus disease recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months.
Many have had it and didn’t know it, but it’s wise to take precautions to prevent many mosquito bites, particularly while out mowing the grass or participating in sports activities.
People with milder symptoms typically recover on their own.
Dress carefully to prevent the illness to avoid many mosquito bites. Pants and shirts with long sleeves are particularly important to stay healthy, as well as heavy doses of mosquito spray with DEET at dusk through dawn, when the insects are most active.
With recent rains, it’s important to empty standing water from tarps, old tires, buckets, and other places where rainwater can collect.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
First positive case of COVID-19 confirmed in Barton County