Protect yourself from West Nile Virus

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However, another study published the following year in the same journal also examined cases of neuroinvasive West Nile virus in the areas affected by Katrina, finding that no cases were reported in Louisiana in the 3 weeks before Katrina made landfall, but 11 cases were reported 3 weeks after.

Mosquitoes spread West Nile by first feeding on infected birds, then pass it on to other birds and mammals, including humans, when they bite. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development says West Nile virus was confirmed in eight horses, including at least one in Ottawa County.

"West Nile is transmitted to humans and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito", he said.

"This is an important reminder to stay vigilant and protect against mosquito bites throughout the summer and into the fall", said Dr. Eden Wells, Chief Medical Executive at the MDHHS.

Mosquitoes are known carriers of WNV and other disease-causing viruses.

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The mosquitoes were caught August 22 in North Leominster and West Fitchburg, and lab results came back positive for the virus Wednesday, Knuth said. "However, some may become ill approximately three to 15 days after the bite of an infected mosquito", the statement added.

"It's not nice", Zentner said of the body aches, muscle and joint pain, vomit, diarrhea, nausea and rash. The latest involves a female, over the age of 50, that has the more serious neuroinvasive form of the illness.

Less than one percent of those infected develop severe neurological illness like encephalitis or meningitis. Clothing should be light colored and made of tightly woven materials that keep mosquitoes away from the skin. Use insect repellent, wear long sleeves and trousers when outdoors, and prevent standing water as mosquito breeding grounds on your property. "Wear bug repellant, drain bird baths, remove any standing water around the house, empty pet water bowls and rain gutters", said Boudreaux.

Be sure door and window screens are tight-fitting and in good fix.

Wear shoes, socks, long trousers and a long-sleeve shirt when outdoors for a long period of time.

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