Alabamian dies from West Nile Virus; ADPH urges protective measures

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According to a release from the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), one person in the state has died from West Nile Virus.

The ADPH says nine cases have been reported this year, and several more reports are currently under investigation.

West Nile Virus (WNV) is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes, who can also infect horses. About one in five people who contract WNV will show symptoms, such as fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Of those infected, less than one percent will develop a neurological illness like encephalitis or meningitis.

Promptly seeking out treatment after infection can substantially lower the risk of developing severe disease. Those older than 50, and with certain medical conditions like cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, and organ transplants, have a greater risk of falling ill.

There are no medications for treatment or vaccines to prevent West Nile Virus in humans. Anyone who has symptoms should contact a doctor.

The ADPH urges these protective measures in fighting WNV:

• Use EPA-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 when going outdoors.

• Wear long sleeves and pants during dawn and dusk.

• Install or repair screens on windows and doors. Use air conditioning, if available.

• Empty standing water from items outside homes, such as flowerpots, buckets and children’s pools.