Be on the lookout for West Nile virus

The Cincinnati Enquirer  recently warned  the Tri-State  of  mosquitoes that tested positive for  West Nile virus  in  Blue Ash, so  we tracked down a few facts about the disease.

West Nile virus is most commonly spread by infected mosquitoes. The infected mosquitoes can spread the virus to humans and other animals.

In Kentucky, the Northern Kentucky Health Department  routinely performs mosquito surveillance in the northern part of the state, but, to date, the Northern Kentucky Health Department, nor St. Elizabeth Healthcare, has reported any human cases of West Nile virus.

“Most individuals who become infected with the virus do not exhibit symptoms,” said Michele Wilbers,  infection preventionist at St. Elizabeth.  “However, one in five infected individuals may develop a fever, headache, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea or rash.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the incubation time from infected bite to illness is usually 2-6 days; however, it can range from 2-14 days.

To avoid contracting the disease, it’s best to avoid areas where mosquitoes are heavily populated, such as ditches and retention ponds where standing water tends to be.

Here are a few tips from the CDC to  prevent the spread of West Nile:

  • Use insect repellents when going outside.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants when outside during dusk and dawn. (These are the times that mosquitoes are most active.)
  • Use air conditioning if it is available.
  • Repair or install window/door screens.
  • Empty any standing water that may be found around your home. (Examples: flowerpots, gutters, pool covers, birdbaths, discarded tires, etc.)

 

If you think you or someone you know may have come in contact with infected mosquitoes, please contact your doctor.