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Published July 24, 2013, 02:37 PM

1st human West Nile infection of 2013 in N.D. confirmed

BISMARCK, ND -- The first human case of West Nile Virus in North Dakota this year has been confirmed. State health officials are urging people to protect themselves from mosquito bites.

BISMARCK, ND -- The first human case of West Nile Virus in North Dakota this year has been confirmed. State health officials are urging people to protect themselves from mosquito bites.

The patient is a female in her 30s who resides in Grant County. The patient was not hospitalized.

“The identification of West Nile Virus in a person is a reminder of the

importance of taking precautions to protect ourselves from the bites of

mosquitoes,” said Alicia Lepp, epidemiologist with the North Dakota

Department of Health. “In addition to a human case, two crows and three

mosquito pools in Grand Forks County and three mosquito pools in Cass

County tested positive for WNV, indicating the active transmission of WNV

in North Dakota and the need for people to protect themselves.”

To reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes, the state health

department recommends the following protective measures:

· Use insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, IR 3535, oil

of lemon eucalyptus or permethrin when outdoors. Always follow the directions on the manufacturer’s label.

· Limit outdoor activities between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes

are most likely to bite.

· When possible, wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts while

outside.

· Eliminate stagnant water and leaf debris in containers around

homes where mosquitoes can lay their eggs (e.g., buckets, flowerpots, old tires, wading pools and birdbaths).

· Keep mosquitoes from entering your home by repairing screens in

windows and doors.

· Keep the grass around your home trimmed.

In 2012, 89 human cases of West Nile Virus were reported to the Department

of Health. In addition, West Nile infection was identified in 14 horses,

two birds and one dog.

The common symptoms of West Nile Virus include fever, headache, body aches

and rash. People with more severe illness may experience symptoms such as

stiff neck, confusion, paralysis, coma and even death. Fortunately, most

people infected with West Nile virus develop the less severe form of the

disease or develop no symptoms at all.

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