MADISON (WKOW) — The Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced this year’s first confirmed human case of West Nile virus in Wisconsin Wednesday.
The DHS reports the infected person is a resident of Northeastern Wisconsin.
West Nile virus is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito and is not spread person to person. Mosquitoes get the virus by feeding on infected birds.
The majority of human cases occur during the months of August and September.
The chances of a person contracting West Nile virus are low, and most people infected will not get sick. Those who do become ill may develop a fever, headache, and rash that lasts a few days. Symptoms typically begin between three to 15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. In rare cases, West Nile virus can cause severe disease with symptoms such as disorientation, tremors, paralysis, inflammation of the brain, and coma. Older adults and people with weakened immune systems are at an increased risk of severe disease from the virus.
There is no specific treatment for West Nile virus other than to treat symptoms.
Although few mosquitoes actually carry the virus, there are several things you can do to reduce contact with mosquitoes and to get rid of areas where they breed.
DHS recommends the following: