BARRON COUNTY -- State and local health officials announce a confirmed human case of West Nile virus (WNV) in a resident of Barron County.
WNV is spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito and is not transmitted person to person.
“The good news is the current cold weather will stop the spread of West Nile virus in our area,” states Laura Sauve, Health Officer. “We do want people to realize this disease will be back, along with the mosquitos next summer.”
The chances of a person contracting WNV are very low and most people infected with West Nile virus will not have any symptoms. Those who do become ill may develop a fever, headache, and rash that lasts a few days. Symptoms may begin between three to 15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. In rare cases, WNV can cause severe disease with symptoms such as muscle weakness, stiff neck, disorientation, tremors, convulsions, paralysis and coma. Older adults and people with compromised immune systems are at an increased risk of severe disease from the virus.
There is no specific treatment for West Nile virus other than to treat symptoms. If you think you have West Nile virus infection, contact your healthcare provider.
“By preventing mosquito bites you can protect yourself and your family from this disease next summer,” continues Sauve.
The Department of Health Services has monitored the spread of West Nile virus since 2001 among wild birds, horses, mosquitoes, and people. During 2002, the state documented its first human infections and 52 cases were reported that year. During 2016, 13 cases and so far in 2017 21 cases of West Nile virus infection were reported among Wisconsin residents. West Nile virus infections in humans have been reported from June through October; however, most reported becoming ill with West Nile virus in August and September.
For more information on West Nile virus: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/arboviral/westnilevirus.htm