Office of Communications
For more information contact:

Joe Thornton
Office of Communications & Legislative Affairs
West Virginia Department of health and Human Resources
Phone: 304-558-7899 Fax: 304-558-7075
Cell: 304-546-7960 e-mail: josephthornton@wvdhhr.org

For immediate release

First human West Nile virus case comes to the Mountain State

An elderly Berkeley County resident has been diagnosed as having the first confirmed case of West Nile virus found in a human this year in West Virginia.

Symptoms from the virus include fever, headache, body aches, fatigue, confusion, weakness, nausea, vomiting and stiff neck.

West Nile virus may be spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. It cannot be spread from human to human except in rare cases such as blood transfusions.

When outdoors during mosquito season, people can protect themselves by being properly clothed in long, loose and light colored clothing and by using mosquito repellants containing DEET. When using products that contain DEET, use according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Never apply products containing DEET to faces and hands of children. In addition, mosquito populations can be reduced by removing all standing water from your property: bird baths, pet bowls, tires, pots, cans or even bottle caps.

"The first probable human case this year for West Virginia only further stresses the importance of awareness and protection for state residents," said Loretta Haddy, state epidemiologist. "It can’t be said often enough that residents need to be aware of their surroundings and take steps to help control the mosquito population in their community."

For more information contact your local health department, the Division of Surveillance and Disease Control at 1-304-558-5358 or www.wvdhhr.org.

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