Kansas Department of Health and Environment officials confirmed five more cases of West Nile virus in the state, and are watching 14 additional cases. Of the 19 total cases now reported in Kansas, one patient died due to the disease carried by mosquitoes.
As of Friday, the case count by county in Kansas was Sedgwick, 12; Harvey, 1; Douglas, 1; Pottowatomie, 1; Reno, 1; Stafford, 1; Sumner, 1; and Trego, 1. No other details about the death or confirmed cases were available at press time.
KDHE recommends the following precautions to protect against West Nile virus:
- When outdoors, use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon, or eucalyptus.
- Consider staying indoors when mosquitoes are most active from dusk to dawn, or be sure to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants at these times if outdoors.
- Make sure screens on windows and doors are effective and in good shape to keep out mosquitoes.
- Empty standing water in pet dishes, children’s pools, flowerpots, buckets, and barrels to reduce mosquito breeding habitats.
Symptoms of the virus range from a slight headache and mild fever to swelling of the brain or brain tissue, and in rare cases, death. People who have had West Nile virus before are considered immune.