Dallas reports 1st human West Nile virus death

Last year 26 people contracted the virus and two died in Dallas County

Coastal Health District officials want to remind residents to take steps to avoid mosquito bites and prevent mosquito breeding. "These bites can cause much more serious health problems than just itching and discomfort", said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. Around one person out of 5 West Nile infected people develops symptoms such as fever among others while around one out of 150 people develop symptoms such as swelling of the brain or the brain tissue, which in certain rare cases, can result in the person dying.

Mosquito bites can transmit the virus. One of the pools of mosquitoes that tested positive was near the cross streets of Bown Crossing and Parkcenter Way in east Boise, the other near the cross streets of Riverside Drive and Lakemont Lane in Garden City. In horses, it is fatal 70 to 90 percent of the time. A vaccine is available for horses but not for humans.

The disease, which has infected more than 150 people in the past six years, is on track to pose an unusually higher-than-normal risk this year and is widespread throughout the commonwealth, having already been found in 51 Pennsylvania counties as of August 1, including Dauphin.

Severe symptoms in a few people. Mosquitoes need only a teaspoon of water to breed.

According to the report, occasionally live chickens are tested to determine if West Nile is present in a particular area. Residents can also avoid leaving standing water around their home. If it holds water and you don't need it (old tires, bottles, cans), toss it out. Always follow the directions on the manufacturer's label. These larvicides will not hurt birds or animals.

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-Clean roof gutters and downspouts for proper drainage.

Dusk & Dawn: Limit outdoor activities during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

"We always recommend wearing long sleeves and long trousers".

Be sure to use insect repellent whenever going outdoors.

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