Campus community urged to take precautions to avoid West Nile virus


Health officials in Fairfax County, Virginia, have confirmed the first case of West Nile virus in a county resident this year.

The West Nile Virus is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito, according to health officials.

Authorities say Iowa's first reported 2018 death associated with the West Nile virus has occurred.

The child, from the Southern Health region, was likely exposed in early July and experienced neurological symptoms, the province said.

"These traps are tested weekly from June to September and with this recent confirmation of West Nile virus activity, we are increasing our efforts in the area surrounding the positive traps by looking for breeding sites and re-treating catch basins with larvicide", Paul Callanan, Director of Health Protection at the Region of Peel, said in a statement released Thursday.

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The number of confirmed infections can vary from year to year.

The positive test came from one of the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit's mosquito traps in Simcoe. There were no reported cases of West Nile in the county previous year. Most people infected show no symptoms, but approximately one in five will develop a fever along with other symptoms. Anyone who thinks they may be infected should see a doctor immediately, officials said.

Those most at risk for serious complications are people older than 50 and people with suppressed immune systems. The types of mosquitoes that transmit WNV to humans most commonly breed in urban areas in places that hold water such as bird baths, plant pots, old toys and tires.

Symptoms of West Nile Virus include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, swollen lymph glands, a rash on the chest, stomach or back, and a fever.