Jackson County Health Dept. reports second West Nile death

Kara Marxer
October 10, 2018 - 8:43 am

ID 69906962 © Kalle Taavo | Dreamstime.com

A second person in Jackson County has died from a West Nile virus infection.

Most people think of West Nile as a summer disease, because it is spread by mosquitoes, but until the first hard frost, the disease-carrying insects remain a danger to the public. Health officials did not release details about the patients who died.

Everyone should take precautions, said Bridgette Schaffer, Jackson County Health Department director.

"Like using EPA-registered insect repellant, wearing long sleeve shirts and pants, staying indoors between dusk and dawn," Schaffer said.

People are also advised to minimize any standing water around the house, which provides a breeding environment for more mosquitoes.

Anyone can contract the West Nile virus, Schaffer said, and most people do not realize it, because they may not develop symptoms. Those who do become ill can experience headaches and fever. The neuro-invasive form of the disease has killed two people in Jackson County in the last two months.

West Nile virus kills an average of 107 people each year in the United States.

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