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Metro Newsroom

West Nile Virus Confirmed in a Louisville Resident

Friday August 24, 2012

Louisville has its first laboratory confirmed human case of West Nile virus this year. The individual is recovering. The city has had one human West Nile case each year for the past three years.

The majority of people who are infected with West Nile display only very mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. Mild symptoms associated with West Nile 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.

Adults are encouraged to use insect repellant containing at least 10% 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.

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.

Metro Public Health and Wellness continues to treat catch basins and to fog to control mosquito populations throughout Louisville. To find areas to be fogged, people can consult the Health Department web site at or they may call the fogging hotline at 574-6641.