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East-Central reports positive human cases of West Nile Virus in its district

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The East-Central District Health Department headquarters in Columbus.

The East-Central District Health Department announced Wednesday afternoon that two positive human cases of West Nile Virus have been reported in its district within the past two weeks.

East-Central’s district covers Platte, Boone, Colfax and Nance counties.

One of the cases was detected through blood collection, according to the health department’s Wednesday afternoon press release. Both of the cases are of the non-neuroinvasive type.

Less than 1% of those infected with West Nile Virus (WNV) develop non-neuroinvasive disease, which typically manifests as meningitis, encephalitis or acute flaccid paralysis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Most patients with non-neuroinvasive WNV disease or WNV meningitis recover completely, but fatigue, malaise, and weakness can linger for weeks or months,” the East-Central press release states.

WNV is commonly spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito, and WNV is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States. It occurs during the summer and fall. There are not vaccines to prevent WNV or medications to treat the disease in people.

According to the East-Central press release, most people infected with WNV do not feel sick.

“About 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever and other symptoms,” the press release states. “About 1 out of 150 infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, illness. You can reduce your risk of WNV by using insect repellent and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants to prevent mosquito bites.”


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