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Published On: Thu, Jul 26th, 2012

Jacksonville woman confirmed positive for West Nile Virus

A 62-year-old Jacksonville woman is the first confirmed human case of West Nile Virus (WNV) in Duval County this year, according to health officials.

mosquito

Photo/CDC

According to a Duval County Health Department (DCHD) mosquito-borne illness advisory, the patient has since been released from the hospital and is recovering from the illness. This is the first confirmed human case in the county since 2011.

There were 19 cases of West Nile virus in Duval County last year, including two fatalities.

West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne disease that can cause encephalitis, a brain inflammation. West Nile viruswas first detected in North America in 1999 in New York. Prior to that it had only been found in Africa, Eastern Europe, and West Asia.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 80 percent of people (about 4 out of 5) who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all.

Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected have symptoms such as fever, headache, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms can last for as short as a few days, though even healthy people have become sick for several weeks.

About one in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness. The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.

There is no specific treatment for WNV infection.

Residents experiencing symptoms common to West Nile Virus should call their healthcare provider to see if they need to be seen. Physicians should contact DCHD if they suspect an individual may have a mosquito-borne illness.

The DCHD offers the following advice to eliminate mosquito-breeding grounds and protecting yourself from mosquito bites:

DRAIN standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying

  • Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots or any other containers where sprinkler or rain water has collected.
  • Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other items that aren’t being used.
  • Empty and clean birdbaths and pet’s water bowls at least once or twice a week.
  • Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don’t accumulate water.
  • Maintain swimming pools in good condition and appropriately chlorinated. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.

COVER skin with clothing or repellent

  • CLOTHING – Wear shoes, socks, and long pants and long-sleeves. This type of protection may be necessary for people who must work in areas where mosquitoes are present.
  • REPELLENT – Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing
    • Always use repellents according to the label. Repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535 are effective.
    • Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months old.

COVER doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out of your house

  • Repair broken screening on windows, doors, porches, and patios

Tips on Repellent Use

  • Always read label directions carefully for the approved usage before you apply a repellent. Some repellents are not suitable for children
  • Products with concentrations of up to 30 percent DEET are generally recommended. Other EPA-approved repellents contain Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535. These products are generally available at local pharmacies. Look for active ingredients to be listed on the product label.
  • In protecting children, read label instructions to be sure the repellent is age-appropriate. According to the CDC, mosquito repellents containing oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under the age of 3 years. DEET is not recommended on children younger than 2 months old.
  • Avoid applying repellents to the hands of children. Adults should apply repellent first to their own hands and then transfer it to the child’s skin and clothing.
  • If additional protection is necessary, apply a permethrin repellent directly to your clothing. Again, always follow the manufacturer’s directions.
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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. Staten Island man is the first human case of WNV in New York this year | Outbreak News says:

    […] Related Story: Jacksonville Woman Confirmed Positive For West Nile Virus […]

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