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Delaware reports first human case of West Nile Virus in 2 years

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A 70-year-old Kent County woman was briefly hospitalized with West Nile virus and is now recovering at home.

The Division of Public Health announces Delaware’s first case of West Nile Virus in a human in two years.

 

A DPH spokeswoman says a 70-year-old Kent County woman was briefly hospitalized with West Nile virus and is now recovering at home.

The case is the first lab-confirmed human West Nile case reported in 2017. There were no cases in 2016.

 

“This new case is a reminder that West Nile virus is still active in Delaware,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay in a statement. “It is just as important during these unseasonably warm fall months as it was in the summer to protect yourself and your loved ones from mosquito bites. These bites can cause much more serious health problems than just itching and discomfort.”

The mosquito-borne illness can become serious and DPH reminds people to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

 

DNREC recently announced the continued presence of West Nile virus in sentinel chickens monitored for mosquito-borne diseases. Mosquitoes remain very active, especially during the unseasonably warm weather the state has been experiencing the past few weeks.

 

 
Symptoms of severe West Nile infection include headache, high fever, stiff neck, and/or tremors and muscle weakness. The elderly and those with weakened immune systems are most at risk.
 
To report suspected cases of human West Nile Virus you should call the DPH Office of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at 888-295-5156.