Human case of West Nile virus detected in Malheur County

VALE -A Malheur County resident has tested positive for West Nile, the first human infection detected this year locally, state health officials announced Thursday.

The virus is a mild flu-like disease spread by mosquitoes. Mosquitoes carrying the virus were first detected in Malheur County in mid-July.

Health officials are advising people in Malheur County to take precautions against mosquito bites the following ways:

–       Eliminate sources of standing water.

–      Make sure screen doors and windows fit tightly.

–      Wear long-sleeve shirts and pants when in mosquito infested areas.

–      Wear bug repellants containing DEET, eucalyptus oil or Picardin when engaged in outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

One in five infected people may show signs of West Nile virus. Symptoms may include fever above 100 degrees and severe headache, stiff neck, mental confusion, muscle weakness, shaking, paralysis or rash.

People at risk of serious illness include those 50 and older, and people with immune-compromising conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure.

People should contact their health care provider if experiencing any of these symptoms.

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