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Kirkwood Woman Okay After First Likely Case of West Nile Virus

St. Louis County health officials said Tuesday the first probable human case of West Nile Virus has been reported and that the victim is from Kirkwood.

The St. Louis County Department of Health made the annoucement in a news release Tuesday. Health officials stated that they believe they have their first human case of West Nile Virus in 2012.

The victim is reportedly a 55-year-old woman from who suffered West Nile symptoms, but has since resumed normal activities.

The news comes one week after the health department announced it was increasing mosquito spraying throughout St. Louis County in an effort to prevent human cases of West Nile in 2012.

Mosquitoes tested positive for West Nile in St. Louis County earlier this summer, but there had not been reports of any human cases until now. 

The health department stated that the county had two confirmed human West Nile Virus case in 2011.

More details are included in the following news release issued by the Saint Louis County Department of Health Tuesday.

The Saint Louis County Department of Health has recorded its first probable human case of West Nile Virus this year. The victim is a 55-year-old Kirkwood female who has since resumed normal activities after suffering WNV-type symptoms. The county had two confirmed human West Nile Virus case in 2011.

“Even though serious West Nile Virus cases in humans are rare, it is important to minimize our exposure,” said Health Department Director Dr. Dolores J. Gunn. “We can do this by eliminating opportunities for mosquitoes to breed and multiply and by protecting ourselves by using repellants,”

Here are steps residents can take to reduce the opportunities for mosquitoes to flourish:

  • Flexible drainage pipe is commonly used to drain water from downspouts.  A big drawback is that it holds water and breeds mosquitoes if not properly sloped when installed.
  • At least once a week, drain water from garbage cans, buckets, toys, flowerpots, wading pools, pet dishes, and other objects that can collect water. Change water in birdbaths at least once a week.
  • Look for products containing the active ingredient methoprene or Bti (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis) to place in birdbaths or ponds, to prevent mosquitoes from developing.
  • Keep gutters cleaned out, and repair any tears in door and window screens.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and light colors outdoors.
  • Spray clothing with repellents containing DEET or picaridin.

The Health Department routinely collects mosquito samples to test and help determine where to focus control efforts.  Vector Control monitors and treats standing water in public areas as part of its preventative larviciding program.

The St. Louis County Department of Health website offers a general spraying schedule and specific spray routes will be available each evening by calling the hotline at 314 615-4BUG (314 615-4284). Residents can also visit the county's website or contact St. Louis County Vector Control at 314 615-0680 for more details on mosquito prevention.

Melissa Ewen September 04, 2012 at 09:54 PM
What are the symptoms of WNV?
Owen Skoler (Editor) September 04, 2012 at 10:32 PM
I added this link in the story. This is your best bet for the most reliable information on the symptoms of WNV: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007186.htm
Tom Bickel September 05, 2012 at 12:26 AM
One great way to reduce the mosquito population is to get your yard sprayed by a professional service. It is surprising to me that this is not mentioned by the DOH. This treatment controls the population very effectively for 21-28 days and allows people to enjoy their outdoor living space. Full disclosure: I work for a local company that provides this service.

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