West Nile virus symptoms and prevention

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – A 73-year-old man died Wednesday after contracting the West Nile virus, marking the first West Nile-related death of the year. Louisville Metro Department of Public Health officials say there are infected mosquitoes throughout the Louisville area and urge residents to educate themselves on symptoms and protection.

Symptoms

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while 70-80% of people who become infected with the West Nile virus do not develop any symptoms, about 1 in 5 people will develop a fever along with the following symptoms:

-headache
-body aches
-joint pains
-vomiting
-diarrhea
-fatigue/weakness

Additionally, less than 1% of people infected will develop a serious neurological illness such as encephalitis or meningitis. Those who develop such an illness may also experience the following symptoms:

-headache
-fever
-neck stiffness
-disorientation
-coma
-tremors
-seizures
-paralysis

Prevention

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most effective way to avoid the West Nile virus is to prevent mosquito bites in the following ways:

-Use insect repellents when outdoors
-When weather permits, wear long sleeves, long pants and socks outdoors
-Consider avoiding outdoor activities from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are at their most active

For more information on prevention and symptoms, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
 


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