Public Health Prevention Tip: Protect Yourself from West Nile Virus

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho- -- The West Nile Virus (WNV) is a potentially serious illness transmitted by infected mosquitoes.  Infected mosquitoes have been found in several counties throughout Idaho, and three human cases have been reported this year.  This is not an abnormally high incidence of WNV for this region as Idaho averages 16 reported cases per year.

By taking simple steps, you can lower your chance of getting WNV.  When outdoors, use insect repellents containing DEET. Fix any torn screens on windows and doors, and get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets and barrels. 

Most people who are infected do not develop any symptoms; however, about one in five people will develop mild symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back.  More severe symptoms, including high fever, severe headache, confusion, and neurological symptoms occur in about 1 in 150 people infected.

Where can I go for more information?

To learn more tips on how to protect yourself and when to seek care, check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fact sheet.

For more information about WNV cases in Idaho, visit the Central District Health Department website.