ACHD Confirms First Human West Nile Virus Case In 2017

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Allegheny County Health Department has confirmed its first human case of West Nile virus in 2017.

According to a press release, an elderly woman in the East Hills neighborhood was bitten earlier this month.

She was taken to a local hospital, where she was later released. The woman is continuing to recover at home.

Currently, there are no vaccines to prevent and no medications to treat West Nile virus.

“[West Nile virus] Infection is not transmitted from birds to people or from person-to-person.” said Dr. Karen Hacker, Director of the Allegheny County Health Department. “County residents can protect themselves from West Nile-bearing mosquitoes with a few simple personal and environmental precautions.”

Roughly 20 percent of people infected with the West Nile virus experience symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Most recover completely and on their own.

Roughly 1 in 150 patients will develop a more serious illness, which can sometimes be fatal.

Last week, the Allegheny County Health Department announced that mosquito samples in the North Side, Lawrenceville, South Side Slopes and Knoxville tested positive for the virus.

Officials continue to urge residents to clear their property of any standing water. They also advise that any open windows should have screens.

If you believe you, or someone you know, may have the virus, contact a doctor.

Meanwhile, Health Department officials will also be spraying Zenivex, which kills adult mosquitoes. The spraying will starting Tuesday at dusk in Lawrenceville, Bloomfield, and Shadyside.

If it rains, that would be pushed back to Wednesday.

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