West Nile found in Washington County


Posted Tuesday, September 6, 2016 1:15 pm
Chris Boling of the Washington County Health Department said it happens about once a year — mosquitoes from a pond in the central area of the county have tested positive for the West Nile virus.

“They’re testing different areas and it happens around that spot every year,” he said. “They just have a few testing spots and testing is very limited, so it could be anywhere else in the county as well.”

Health Department Nurse Peggy Scott said 70 to 80 percent of people who become infected experience no symptoms and only one in five develop fever, flu-like symptoms and rash.

“Less than one percent will develop the serious neurological illness,” she said, adding these are generally the elderly. “Most of those people tend to be very elderly — upper 70’s and 80’s — and they tend to get that bad because they don’t think they’re sick.”

The more severe symptoms include headaches, high fever, disorientation and neck stiffness.

There are no medications to treat or vaccines to prevent the virus, but Scott said people should protect themselves with either over the counter bug sprays with deet or eucalyptus oil, along with wearing clothing that covers the skin. Make sure screen over windows and doors are sealed so mosquitoes can’t get into the home and invest in a cover for strollers to keep them away from children on walks.

For more information, visit www.CDC.gov/westnile/index.html.

Here’s the story on SalemLeader.com

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