WDAY.com

WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published August 27, 2012, 02:45 PM

Two Cases of West Nile Virus in Grand Forks County

Two people have tested positive for the West Nile Virus in Grand Forks County. The virus is spread by mosquitoes. The the Grand Forks Public Health Department is urging people to protect themselves because most cases happen this time of year.

Two people have tested positive for the West Nile Virus in Grand Forks County. The virus is spread by mosquitoes. The the Grand Forks Public Health Department is urging people to protect themselves because most cases happen this time of year.

Two cases were reported to the Health Department on Friday and as of now the department is not releasing any other information about the people who contracted the virus.

As of last Wednesday there have been 19 cases of West Nile reported in North Dakota and about half of those were men and half women. Eight were hospitalized.

Most people infected by West Nile do not develop any symptoms and it usually takes a while to diagnose the disease because many of the symptoms that do show up mirror the flu.

Less than one percent of people infected could develop a serious illness leading to headaches, a high fever, neck stiffness, convulsions and muscle weakness. This can happen 1 to 2 weeks after exposure.

This is the time of year where West Nile is most prevalent because the mosquito is looking for food. A blood test is needed to make the diagnosis. Health officials say there are several things you can do to protect yourself.

Don Shields, Public Health Department Director: “Those mosquitos that we have right now are the bad kind so we want to be careful. I'd recommend people take some precautions especially if you're going to be out at dawn or dusk, maybe put a long-sleeved shirt on or long pants on if you’re out with the dog at dusk or dawn, use some DEET products and try to stay away from them.”

You should also get rid of standing water around your home and keep grass trimmed.

Tags: