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Health

Kansas Sees First Reported Case Of West Nile Virus For The Year

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West Nile Virus has been found in the state, and the Kansas Department of Heath and Environment (KDHE) believes that the virus may be a problem earlier this year than previous years.

The virus was found in pools collected from mosquito traps in Shawnee, Johnson and Reno counties. They also found the virus in two birds.

The first case of West Nile virus in 2017 was reported by a person from Barton County. KDHE says that this indicates that problems could develop much earlier than in previous years.

The common house mosquito is known to transmit the virus to humans through bites.

Symptoms of West Nile include a low-grade fever and headache but can also lead to swelling of the brain or brain tissue and even death.

In 2016 there were 34 cases of the virus in humans. Twenty-one people were hospitalized, and five died.

The mosquitos can breed in very small amounts of water - so people are urged to tip and turn any pots in their yard, change their pet water and to use recommended repellent when out, especially at dawn and dusk.

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Aileen LeBlanc is news director at KMUW. Follow her on Twitter @Aileen_LeBlanc.

 
To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.