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Human West Nile cases found in Payette, Owyhee Counties

Posted at 5:10 PM, Sep 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-01 19:18:03-04

Southwest District Health officials have received confirmation of two positive human cases of West Nile Virus. The first case is a female in her fifties living in Payette County; the second case is a man in his twenties living in Owyhee County.

No further information on the two was released

Health officials say the West Nile Virus is a potentially serious illness that is usually spread to animals and humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. It does not spread from person-to-person. Most people infected with the illness do not show symptoms, although more severe symptoms may occur. People with symptoms may experience fever, headaches, body aches, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash typically occurring 2 to 14 days after the bite of an infected mosquito.

“About one in 150 people infected with WNV develop severe illness such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), or meningitis (inflammation of the linings of the brain and spinal cord),” said Jennifer Tripp, Program Manager for the Southwest District Health Department. “These more severe infections are marked by a rapid onset of a high fever, headache, neck stiffness, body aches, disorientation, and tremors,” she said.

Tripp advises everyone to be cautious outdoors between dusk and dawn, when the mosquitoes that carry WNV are most active. She suggests wearing light-colored clothing, long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks. Other precautions include using mosquito repellant containing an EPA-registered active ingredient, such as DEET or Picaridin. Follow label directions, particularly as they apply to children under 12 years of age.

“Although there is no vaccine available for humans at this time, we encourage anyone experiencing these symptoms to consult with your medical provider and ask to be tested for WNV,” she said.

In response to elevated populations of active adult mosquitos and recent West Nile virus positive mosquito pools detected in Payette County, aerial spraying in parts of Payette County, weather permitting, will occur on Wednesday, September 6, 2017 between 7:30 pm and midnight. 

Owyhee County does not have a mosquito abatement district.