Medicine

First West Nile Virus Cases Reported in Kansas

First West Nile Virus Cases Reported in Kansas

Mosquitoes captured in Hartford's Keney Park have tested positive for West Nile virus, city officials said.

The person is not reporting any illnesses. Those who do become ill usually experience mild flu-like symptoms, while less than one per cent of people infected with the virus get seriously ill.

"This is an important reminder to stay vigilant and protect against mosquito bites throughout the summer and into the fall", said Dr. Eden Wells, MDHHS chief medical executive.

The Journal News reports the Westchester County Health Department confirmed two batches of mosquitoes collected in Yonkers tested positive for the virus. The Kansas health department said about 1 in 150 people infected develop a more serious version of the disease. People who have had WNV before are considered immune. Amler added that people spending time outdoors should use repellents "from dawn to dusk". Follow the directions on the package.

The elderly or those with a weakened immune system should consider limiting their exposure outside during dusk and dawn, when the Culex species mosquitoes are most active.

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Also, residents are reminded to dispose of water-holding containers in their yards, like ceramic pots, used tires, and tire swings, and clean out gutters.

They're the first cases of West Nile this year in Kansas.

Since 2000, there have been 134 human cases of WNV, including three deaths.

Severe symptoms of West Nile include a stiff neck, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, muscle weakness, convulsions and paralysis.