Louisiana, Mississippi top nation in illness from West Nile

Health officials say there is no specific treatment for the virus that is spread by infected mosquitoes.

Chris Boling, the county's environmental health specialist, said he was informed by State Entomologist Bryan Price that a sample of mosquitoes taken August 10 tested positive for the disease.

Mosquitoes become infected by feeding on an infected bird and can pass the virus to humans, horses or other hosts when they bite.

"To date, there have been no human cases reported, no positive mosquito pools identified, and no positives identified by Canadian Blood Services through their screen program", Interior Health said in a release.

"One bite from one infected mosquito can make a person sick", CVMVCD General Manager Jeremy Wittie said. Signs of the virus include flu-like symptoms, where the horse seems mildly anorexic and depressed. However, some people may have no symptoms at all. Wear long-sleeved shirts and long trousers when in mosquito infested areas. This is important, particularly for people who work outdoors or where mosquitoes are found.

Once in water - as little as a spoon's worth - mosquitos will go from larvae to a biting menace in a mere three days. Avoid being outside at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active if possible. Wearing long-sleeves, long trousers and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin. Although few mosquitoes actually carry the virus, there a several things you can do to minimize your exposure and eliminate breeding grounds for mosquitoes. If you've got a plastic swimming pool, empty it when it's not in use.

Use mosquito repellent on exposed skin.

Keep mosquitoes out of your home. Bug repellents containing DEET or Icaridin should be used on anyone over two years of age. The Health Ministry was criticized Wednesday of failing to report the case, which was revealed by the Kan public broadcaster. "And it's the major problem with West Nile", he added.

  • Aubrey Nash