High number of Cape Cod mosquitoes with West Nile virus

11 August, 2018, 05:36 | Author: Denise Dawson
  • All four cases the CDC says were confirmed following blood donations

According to the state Department of Public Health, the patients are residents of Fairfield and Newington.

The mosquitoes can then spread the virus to animals and humans.

Cases generally tend to spike during the summer and fall months, between June and September, when activity is the most common. In each case the people had no symptoms at the time of donating blood through a blood collection agency, but whose blood tested positive when screened for the presence of West Nile virus.

Although most people don't develop symptoms, approximately 20 percent of those infected will develop an infection known as West Nile Fever, according to the CDC. Symptoms include high fever, convulsions and muscle weakness, and the illness can put someone in a comatose state.

Brenda Miller is the manager of health protection and investigation with Region of Waterloo Public Health and said the region monitors 16 different sites for West Nile virus in recreational and residential areas.

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The cases, mostly in the western suburbs of Athens, mark a reappearance of the virus after an outbreak previous year when Greek authorities registered 48 cases, resulting in five deaths.

He recommends using bug sprays with Deet, but there are other options like lemon eucalyptus oil that combat West Nile mosquitoes.

Health officials say the virus has been detected in 169 mosquito samples from across the state. Earlier this week, the Montana Department of Livestock confirmed the first reported cases of equine West Nile Virus in Montana of the year.

To protect yourself from the disease, experts recommend wearing insect repellent, avoid going outside between dawn and dusk which are peak mosquito feeding times, and to wear loose clothing.

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