Second West Nile case reported in Boston

Health officials in Boston have reported that a 75-year-old man has become the second city resident to test positive for West Nile Virus this year.

The man, whose name has been withheld due to privacy laws, is recovering in a Boston-area medical facility. Officials with the Boston Public Health Commission reported then man’s health has improved significantly, MyFoxBoston.com reports.

This marks the second West Nile case in the Boston area. In August, a 46-year-old Boston woman was diagnosed with West Nile Virus but has since recovered. Six cases were recorded in the state this year.

West Nile virus is a potentially serious illness. Experts believe that West Nile virus is established as a seasonal epidemic in North America that flares up in the summer and continues into the fall.

Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected have symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms can last for as short as a few days, though even healthy people have become sick for several weeks, MyFoxBoston.com reports.

About one in 150 people infected with West Nile virus will develop a severe illness. The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, with neurological effects potentially permanent.

The easiest and best way to avoid West Nile virus is to prevent mosquito bites. When outdoors, use insect repellent containing an EPA-registered active ingredient.