The West Nile Virus Has Caused The First Death Of 2017
North Dakota’s State Health Department has confirmed the first death this year caused by the West Nile virus. The victim was a sixty year old woman who also struggled with other medical issues. Sadly, the woman died while hospitalized. Most people infected with West Nile will not experience any symptoms, or some will experience mild symptoms, such as headache and slight fever. This is not to say that the West Nile virus should be of no concern to you, as more severe cases of the disease can result in high fever, stiff neck, altered mental state and eventually death.
According to Laura Cronquist, an epidemiologist with the North Dakota Department of Health, this woman’s death is a tragic reminder of just how dangerous the West Nile virus can be. West Nile virus normally peaks during the late summer. So before the first frost, when mosquitoes are killed, all people should continue to take precautions against mosquito bites. Individuals aged sixty and over are at the greatest risk of dying as a result of the virus. As well as people who experience underlying medical issues.
This year has so far seen twenty nine reported cases of West Nile in sixteen countries. Twelve of the twenty nine infected individuals have been hospitalized. Last Year North Dakota had eighty nine cases of West Nile and two deaths related to West Nile.
North Dakota’s Health Department has been warning residents about the increase in mosquito activity this year, and the sharp increase in West Nile related health problems. They have urged residents to continue taking precautions against mosquitoes, even during colder days. Such precautions include using insect-repellent, avoiding outdoor activities between dawn and dusk, and eliminating standing water and leaf debris containers around homes. These last two items are sometimes found with mosquito eggs inside of them, and they offer mosquitoes particularly comfortable breeding conditions.
Do you continue to wear mosquito repellent into the month of September? Do you use mosquito repellent every time you step outside?