The Jefferson County Department of Health has reported the first known case of a human contracting the West Nile virus.
The resident is a 65-year-old female residing in the Bessemer area. A spokesperson for the health department tells FOX6 News that the woman is "recovering."
The viral infection is caused by the bite of an infected mosquito and is most commonly contracted from the insects in the late summer or early fall. According to the health department, 1 in 5 people infected with West Nile will experience symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, join pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash.
The CDC recommends several steps to help avoid being bitten by mosquitos that may carry the virus:
- Use insect repellents while outside. Repellents that include DEET, picardidin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or PMD (a synthetic version of the oil) or IR3535 provide reasonably long-lasting protection.
- Avoid being outside during dawn and dusk, when mosquitos are most active. If you must be outside during that time, wear long sleeves and pants.
- Install or repair screens on your home's windows and doors.
- Check for standing water around your home where mosquitos can breed. Check flowerpots, buckets, kiddie pools.
For more information about the virus and related resources, visit cdc.gov.
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