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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • West Nile virus takes life in Kansas

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  • A resident of the Wichita area has died from West Nile Virus, the first in 2013, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. The mosquito-borne disease affected 57 people around the state last year.
    No information about the victim or the date of death was released.
    Four cases of West Nile virus have now been confirmed in Kansas this year, including a second instance in Sedgwick County. The others were reported in Atchison County, located in northeast Kansas, and Rush County in the west-central part of the state.
    West Nile virus has been detected in all lower 48 states, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    If people get sick from being bitten by an infected mosquito, it will usually occur within two to six days, but ranges from two to 14 days. The incubation period can be longer in people with certain medical conditions that affect the immune system.
    Symptoms:
    • 70 to 80 percent of people who become infected with West Nile Virus do not develop any symptoms.
    • About 1 in 5 people infected will develop fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. Most people with this type of West Nile disease recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months.
    • Less than 1 percent of people who are infected will develop a serious illness, such as encephalitis or meningitis. Symptoms of these illnesses include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures or paralysis. Recovery can take several weeks or months, and some of the neurologic effects may be permanent. About 10 percent of people who develop neurologic infection will die.
    There is no medications to treat or vaccines to prevent West Nile virus infection. Over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to reduce fever and relieve symptoms.
    Prevention:
    • Use insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide longer-lasting protection.
    • Wear long sleeves and pants from dusk through dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
    • Install or repair screens on windows.
    • Empty standing water and change water in pet bowls and birdbaths frequently.
    About repellents:
    • Products with a higher percentage of the active ingredient typically provide longer-lasting protection.
    • Apply and reapply as directed on the label.
    • Spray hands first, then apply to children's skin.
    • Use just enough to cover exposed skin and/or clothing. Heavy application does not give better or longer lasting protection.
    • After coming back inside, wash with soap and water or bathe.
    Page 2 of 2 - • Stop using if a rash develops.
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