Two infected with West Nile virus
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Missouri reports 2 cases of West Nile in humans
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services confirmed the first two human West Nile virus case in Missouri for 2007. These reports add to the national number, which is nearly four times higher than the amount reported this time last year. The two cases in Missouri were first reported in mid-July. The first was a 40-year-old man from St. Louis County and the second a 18-year-old man from Johnson County. The latter was not hospitalized. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 22 states have reported human West Nile virus cases. While Missouri has only reported two, some states have had many more -- California has 42 cases and South Dakota has 38. West Nile virus typically appears in mid- to late July and case numbers increase through August and September before cooling off in the fall, according to the DHSS. Both organizations say protection is the most important step. Use a mosquito repellant with DEET or picaridin on clothing and exposed skin when going outside, especially in the morning and evenings when mosquitoes are most active. Picaridin is an odorless alternative to DEET that is not greasy or sticky and is less likely to irritate the skin. West Nile virus infection exhibits flu-like symptoms and result in death in untreated, severe cases. Most people infected with the virus will not develop symptoms because their immune system kills the virus.