West Nile virus confirmed in Kenton County

KENTON COUNTY, KY (FOX19) - With this year's first case of West Nile in a human in Kentucky confirmed in a Kenton County resident, the Northern Kentucky Health Department is urging residents to take precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, West Nile cases occur primarily in late summer and early fall.

Laboratory tests have shown that a Kenton County man has tested positive for the West Nile virus. He was treated at a local hospital and released.

Nationwide, 268 human cases of West Nile, including seven deaths, had been reported through September 20, according to the CDC.

"We know that West Nile is in our community, so we must take steps to reduce our risk of being exposed to the virus," said Lynne M. Saddler, MD, MPH, District Director of Health. "Mosquitoes with West Nile can live until the first hard frost of the fall, and our rainy and hot spring and summer have created an opportunity for the mosquito population to flourish."

The Health Department recommends the following tips to prevent the spread of West Nile:

  • Remove all standing water from your property. Common places for standing water include pool covers, empty flowerpots and clogged gutters
  • Stay indoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active
  • Wear a long-sleeved shirt and pants when you are outdoors
  • Use an insect repellent containing DEET

The West Nile virus is transferred to humans through bites from an infected mosquito. It is estimated that less than 1 percent of all mosquitoes have West Nile. If a human is bitten by an infected mosquito, he/she has a less than 1 percent chance of developing symptoms of West Nile, and only a small number of those people with symptoms become seriously ill.

Many people with West Nile do not show any symptoms and recover completely. But some symptoms to watch out for include: fever, headache, body aches, swollen lymph glands and disorientation. Contact your health care provider if you have any of these symptoms. If severe symptoms develop, see your doctor immediately. According to the CDC, only about 1 in 150 people infected with West Nile will develop a serious illness.

No human cases have been confirmed in counties in Southwest Ohio region of Hamilton, Butler, Warren , Clermont, Clinton, Highland, and Adams Counties, according to the Cincinnati Health Department.

In Northern Kentucky, the Health Department has also been working with local residents to reduce the threat of West Nile from mosquito pools. To date, approximately 30 locations have received larvacide pellets. The larvacide pellets contain a hormone that stops the development of mosquito larva, but is not harmful to other animals or the environment. The larvacide pellets are effective for up to 150 days, and are typically used in drainage basins and stagnant swimming pools.

For more information, including a fact sheet on West Nile Virus, please visit http://www.nkyhealth.org.

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