West Nile Virus and you

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  • By 22nd Medical Group
  • 22nd Medical Group Public Health Flight
You may have heard about the marked increase of West Nile Virus cases in the United States and in the state of Kansas. There have been more than 30 confirmed cases of the West Nile Virus in Sedgwick County.

The virus is spread to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. There are no vaccines or medications to prevent people from developing WNV. The best way to avoid contracting the virus is through preventive measures.

You can help protect you and your family by implementing the following procedures:
  1. Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water outside. This could include water in old tires, flower pots, abandoned swimming pools, folded tarps, bird baths, and many other items which may hold water for several days.
  2. Treat water in ponds and water garden with mosquito dunks. The mosquito dunks may be purchased at home improvement stores. Each dunk kills mosquito larvae for 30 days or more.
  3. Stay inside during peak mosquito biting times, dusk and dawn.
  4. Wear long sleeves and pants when outdoors during peak mosquito biting times.
  5. Use mosquito repellents.
About 80 percent of those infected with the virus will not develop any symptoms of the disease. Those who become infected with WNV and also exhibit symptoms may have a fever, headache or body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands. Individuals may also develop a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. 

If  you develop any symptoms listed above, please seek medical attention from your provider.

For more information about WNV, please visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov, or the Sedgwick County Health Department, www.sedgwickcounty.org/healthdept.