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Human Case of West Nile in Louisville Metro

Friday September 22, 2006

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (September 21, 2006) Laboratory testing has confirmed Louisville Metro’s first human case of West Nile virus this year.  Privacy rules prohibit the disclosure of any information on the identity or health status of the patient.  In 2005 there was one human case of West Nile in Louisville Metro, one case in 2004 and no cases in 2003.  In 2002 there were 22 West Nile cases in Louisville Metro with two deaths.

Adults are encouraged to use insect repellant containing 20-35 percent DEET (N, N-diethyl-meta-tolumide) and concentrations of no more than 10% for children to reduce the risk of West Nile.  The CDC has also approved insect repellants containing picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus. Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when going outdoors will also help to reduce risk. 

Mosquitoes that have bitten West Nile infected birds can then transmit the virus to humans.  Mild symptoms associated with West Nile virus include fever, head and body aches, often with swollen lymph nodes.  More severe infection is marked by headache, high fever and neck stiffness, which can progress to stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, and occasional convulsions, paralysis and in relatively rare instances, death.  The vast majority of people who are infected with West Nile display only very mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. 
The Louisville Metro Health Department continues to fog to control mosquito populations throughout Louisville.  To find areas to be fogged, people can consult the Health Department web site at www.louisvilleky.gov/health or they may call the Health Department’s fogging hotline at
574-6641.

Citizens should also eliminate places on their property that hold standing water where mosquitoes can breed such as clogged gutters, low spots on tarps and swimming pool covers, and old tires in the back yard.  For areas where you can’t eliminate the standing water, such as in ornamental ponds, there are various products now available at large department stores, hardware, pet stores and home, garden and pond centers that will inhibit mosquito breeding.