July 25, 2014

First human case of West Nile confirmed

A Dodge County resident is released from the hospital, after being treated for the mosquito-borne illness. State health officials confirm it is the first human case of West Nile Virus in Wisconsin for the season. The virus is spread to people and horses through the bite of an infected mosquito.

The first bird to test positive in the state was reported one month ago in Dane County. The state now has a total of 21 dead birds from 13 counties testing positive for the virus. The state had three human cases last year, and none were fatal.

The chances of a person becoming infected with the West Nile virus are very low and most infected people will not have any symptoms. Those who do become ill typically develop a fever, headache, and rash that lasts a few days. Residents could help prevent West Nile virus infection by limiting time spent outside at dawn and dusk, using insect repellent, and eliminating standing water to prevent mosquito breeding.