West Nile Virus
The Mississippi County Health Department submitted one bluejay to the University of Missouri Medical Diagnostic Laboratory on August 16, 2004. That bluejay was confirmed to have West Nile Virus on August 19, 2004. This testing is done to identify the spread of West Nile Virus throughout Missouri. Since there has been a confirmed positive result for Mississippi County, no further testing will be conducted.
The Center for Disease Control has confirmed 843 human cases of West Nile Virus throughout the United States as of August 24, 2004. The Center for Disease Control reports that 6 cases of human infection have been confirmed in Missouri. As of August 24, 2004 there have been no confirmed cases of human infection in Mississippi County.
The West Nile Virus is transmitted by mosquitos to birds, various animals, and humans. Most persons exposed to this virus show no symptoms, but occasionally the virus can result in serious illness and death. Some people experience a mild illness characterized by slight fever, headache, body aches, skin rash, and swollen lymph nodes. More severe illness can include inflammation of the brain and is marked by a rapid onset of high fever, head and body aches, neck stiffness, muscle weakness, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, and in the most severe cases, death. Less than 1% of mosquitos will actually carry the virus and if you are bitten by an infected mosquito, less than 1% will get severely ill.
Protecting yourself from mosquito bites will help decrease your risk of contracting West Nile Virus. Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk but with the temperatures starting to get cooler, they can be active all day. The following are some tips to help reduce the mosquito population and protect yourself from mosquito bites:
For more information on the West Nile Virus, you can visit www.cdc.gov or www.dhss.state.mo.us. You may also contact the Environmental Public Health Specialist at the Mississippi County Health Department at 683-2191 or go to Contact Us on our homepage and email any questions at www.misscohealth.com.