Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Indiana reports first sign of West Nile

State reports first sign of West Nile

May 15, 2007

A mosquito pool has tested positive for West Nile in Marion County, the first sign of the virus in the state this year.

"This is the first positive pool of the year, but we'll see many more before the summer is over," said Jim Howell, D.V.M., veterinary epidemiologist, Indiana State Department of Health. "We could see human cases of West Nile virus this year."

West Nile virus is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes that have first bitten an infected bird. A person bitten by an infected mosquito may show symptoms three to 15 days after the bite.

The virus usually results in a mild illness known as West Nile fever, which can cause fever, headache, body aches, swollen lymph glands, or a rash. However, a small number of individuals can develop a more severe form of the disease with encephalitis or meningitis and other neurological syndromes, including flaccid muscle paralysis.

"In previous years, most human cases of West Nile virus were reported between mid-July and mid-September," said Dr. Howell.

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