With all the hype around Zika, you may have forgotten the threatened mosquito disease of the past two years – West Nile Virus.  Well , four cases of West Nile infection have been reported by the Sedgwick County Health Department .  Efforts are being made to make them the last. 

Public Works and Utilities have been collaborating with Sedgwick County and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to control the mosquito population and educate the public on bite prevention.  Mosquito control efforts are targeting the Culex species, the main culprit in spreading West Nile, via trapping.

Most commonly, people infected with the West Nile virus do not show any symptoms.  Roughly 20% of patients experience mild symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, nausea, and vomiting.  Less than 1% of patients develop severe symptoms such as neck stiffness, disorientation, tremors, muscle weakness, numbness, paralysis, and even coma or death.  If you develop severe symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

West Nile virus and other diseases spread by mosquitoes and ticks are best prevented by following the three D’s:  drain, dress, and DEET.

Drain

Mosquito breed in standing water; so the Sedgwick County Health Department is asking residents to help stop the spread of disease by eliminating pools created by rain water or sprinklers in places like bird baths, gutters, and empty pots. 

Dress

When spending time outdoors, especially during dawn and dusk hours, it is best to wear long sleeves, pants, socks, and shoes that cover your feet.

DEET

Always use insect repellent that contains DEET. Follow label instructions and avoid over-application. 

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