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KCMO Health Department investigating second probable case of West Nile Virus
The 10 local public health departments in the Greater Kansas City Area urge citizens to take precautions during this time to reduce their risk of exposure to West Nile Virus. Late summer to early fall is the peak season for West Nile exposure.
“West Nile Virus can be spread to people by mosquitoes that first bite an infected bird, but the virus is not contagious from person to person,” Dr. Rex Archer, director of the Kansas City, Missouri Health Department, and chair of the Metropolitan Official Health Agencies of the Kansas City Area (MOHAKCA), said.
Individuals can protect themselves by taking the following steps:
Use effective insect repellent with DEET or picaridin on skin.
Wear protective clothing when practical.
Remove standing water from flower pots and other containers, including tires and buckets.
Use larvicide in water that cannot be removed.
Replace water in bird baths, pet bowls, and wading pools at least every three days. Be sure gutters are unclogged and leaky faucets are repaired.
Limit outdoor activities at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
Make sure all screens fit tightly over doors and windows, and that they are in a good state of repair.
If a dead bird is found, individuals should use rubber gloves to pick up the body, wrap it in a plastic bag, and dispose of it in the trash. After handling a dead bird, individuals should wash their hands with soap and water.
Symptoms usually appear three to 15 days after infection and include fever, headache, body aches, occasional skin rash, and swollen lymph glands. More severe symptoms include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, coma, disorientation, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, paralysis, and death.
For more information on West Nile Virus, please contact your local health department.
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