A mosquito pool has been confirmed as the first case of West Nile virus in Hall County for 2013. And though viral activity across the state has been low this year, Central District Health Department officials are advising residents to take precautions.
The West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito, and about 20 percent of people infected with the virus develop West Nile fever. Symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, body aches, with some experiencing a skin rash (on the trunk of the body) and swollen lymph glands.
Some who become infected may develop more severe illnesses such as West Nile encephalitis or meningitis or West Nile poliomyelitis. Symptoms of these diseases include headache, high fever, nick stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis.
It is estimated that approximately 1 in 150 persons infected with the West Nile virus will develop a more severe form of disease, with people over 50 years old and those with compromised immune systems most at risk.
The best to avoid becoming infected is to prevent mosquito bites.
repellent is available at the Central District Health Department, 1137 S. Locust, Grand Island, for those in need.