West Nile virus confirmed in Hall County

West Nile virus confirmed in Hall County.

West Nile virus has been detected in a human in Hall County, according to a press release from the Central District Health Department. This is the first confirmed case of West Nile Virus in Hall County for 2017.

West Nile Virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. In turn, mosquitoes pass the virus to humans.

“Even though mosquito numbers are low, the presence of West Nile virus in the area does warrant some attention to preventing mosquito bites, especially at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active," Nathan Eckhout, Environmental Health Specialist, said.

It is estimated that approximately 1 in 150 people infected with the West Nile virus will develop a more severe form of disease. Serious illness can occur in people of any age, however people over age 50 and immunocompromised persons (for example, transplant patients) are at the highest risk for getting severely ill when infected with WNV.

The easiest and best way to avoid WNV is to prevent mosquito bites.

  • When you are outdoors, use insect repellent containing DEET. Follow the directions on the package.
  • Many mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn. Be sure to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants at these times or consider staying indoors during these hours.
  • Make sure you have good screens on your windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
  • Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets and barrels. Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly. Drill holes in tire swings so water does not pool. Keep wading pools empty and on their sides when they aren't being used.
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