Two area residents test positive for West Nile virus


Escambia County Mosquito Control Division and FDOH-Escambia continue surveillance and prevention efforts, but want to ensure residents and visitors are aware and take proper precautions to prevent mosquito bites. When humans and other mammals, such as horses, are bitten by infected mosquitoes they may also become infected with WNV. Mosquitoes acquire the virus by feeding on infected birds. The mosquito-borne illness was reported on August 21 to have caused two deaths that were in Forrest and Humphreys counties.

People are encouraged to use insect repellent, wear light-coloured clothing, and stay indoors during dusk and dawn. About one in five people who are infected will develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash.

"There's no treatment for West Nile Virus specifically but there's supportive care". Older adults and those with compromised immune systems are at greater risk of developing central nervous system illness that can be fatal. When infected, some people will experience flu-like symptoms.

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Dead bird reports and plenty of mosquitoes in the Madison area are signs to public health officials that the West Nile virus is still here, and will be so into early fall.

Health officials say the infection rate is moderate this year. Lab tests have confirmed mosquitoes collected from three pools in Waterloo region and three in Guelph have tested positive for West Nile virus.

A spike is being seen in dead birds with WNV.