WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

Kansas reports first 2013 human case of West Nile virus

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported the first human case of West Nile virus for 2013 on Thursday in an adult from Atchison County.

The department also reported a West Nile virus positive mosquito sample in Sedgwick County. The West Nile virus is spread to people through bites from infected mosquitoes. The virus does not spread from human-to-human.

Symptoms of West Nile virus infection range from a low-grade fever and a mild headache to swollen brain tissue and death. Individuals previously infected with West Nile virus are considered to be immune.

The KDHE recommended that Kansans take precautions to protect against West Nile virus, including the use of insect repellent with an Environmental Protection Agency-registered active ingredient on clothing and skin, such as DEET, oil of lemon or eucalyptus, picaridin or IR3535.

Other recommendations include wearing long sleeves and pants at dusk and dawn, placing good screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out and getting rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from barrels, buckets and flower pots. Kansans can also drill holes in tire swings to let water drain out, change the water in pet dishes and bird baths and keep children's wading pools empty when they aren't being used.

In 2012, there were 57 West Nile virus cases in Kansas, the most since the virus first entered the state in 2002.