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Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile Virus in Monroe County



Medical information in this article was provided by the Monroe County Health Department.

The Monroe County Health Department announced Friday a sample of mosquitoes in Monroe County had tested positive for West Nile Virus, according to a press release.

“You can help protect your family and your community from West Nile Virus by eliminating areas of standing water available for mosquito breeding in or near your property,” Environmental Health Specialist Simeon Baker said in the release.

Mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus breed in places like ditches, open septic systems, unused or untended pools and any unused container of water that has been left stagnant. A small bucket of water, if left stagnant for seven days, can become a breeding ground for as many as a 1,000 mosquitoes, according to the release.

West Nile Virus is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes that have first bitten an infected bird. A person who is bitten by an infected mosquito may show symptoms within three to 15 days after the bite. Most people who get infected with West Nile Virus will have either mild or no symptoms.

There is no specific treatment for West Nile Virus. In cases with severe symptoms and health issues, the best way to deal with West Nile Virus is respiratory support, good nursing care and plenty of fluids, among other things. 

According to the press release, people over 50 years old are at higher risk for serious illness.

Persons who develop the following symptoms should see a doctor immediately:

high fever

severe headache

neck stiffness

muscle weakness or paralysis

nausea or vomiting

sore joints

confusion

People can protect themselves from mosquitoes by:

Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are more active, such as late evening, early afternoon and early morning.

Use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or p-Menthane-3,8-diol to clothes and exposed skin.

Cover exposed skin by wearing a hat, long sleeves and long pants in places where mosquitoes are especially active, such as wooded areas.

Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of the home.

This story will be updated

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