Wisconsin's first human case of West Nile virus was confirmed in the northeastern part of the state, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
West Nile is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. It is not contagious, person-to-person.
Symptoms of those infected include fever, headache and rash that lasts a few days. Symptoms typically start three to 15 days after the bite.
The chances of contracting WNV are very low and most people who have been infected will not get sick.
In very rare cases, WNV can cause severe disease in older adults and those with weakened immune systems. In severe cases, one can experience disorientation, tremors, paralysis, inflammation of the brain and coma.
DHS recommends the following to prevent contracting the disease:
- Limit time spent outside at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
- Apply an insect repellant with DEET, IR3535, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus to exposed skin and clothing.
- Make sure window and door screens are intact to prevent mosquitoes from getting into your home.
- Prevent mosquitoes from breeding by removing stagnant water from items around your property, such as tin cans, plastic containers, flower pots, discarded tires, roof gutters and downspouts.
- Turn over wheelbarrows, wading pools, boats and canoes when not in use.
- Change the water in bird baths and pet dishes at least every three days.
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs; drain water from pool covers.
- Landscape to prevent water from pooling in low-lying areas, and trim tall grass, weeds, and vines since mosquitoes use these areas to rest during hot daylight hours.