Brown County Health and Human Services Department: First human case of West Nile virus reported in Brown County

CONTACT: Anna Destree, (920) 448-6478

BROWN COUNTY – State and local health officials are advising residents to
continue to protect themselves against mosquito bites as they announce this year’s first
confirmed human case of West Nile virus (WNV) in a resident of Brown County.

The chances of a person contracting WNV are very low and most people infected with
West Nile virus will not have any symptoms. Those who do become ill may develop a
fever, headache, and rash that lasts a few days. Symptoms may begin between three to
15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. In rare cases, WNV can cause
severe disease with symptoms such as muscle weakness, stiff neck, disorientation,
tremors, convulsions, paralysis and coma. Older adults and people with compromised
immune systems are at an increased risk of severe disease from the virus.

There is no specific treatment for West Nile virus other than to treat symptoms. If you
think you have West Nile virus infection, contact your healthcare provider.

WNV is spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito and is not transmitted
person to person. Although few mosquitoes actually carry the virus, tips to minimize
your exposure and eliminate breeding grounds for mosquitoes include:

The Brown County Health & Human Services – Public Health Division recommends the
following:

• Limit time spent outside at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most
active.
• Apply an EPA-registered insect repellant to exposed skin and clothing
since mosquitoes may bite through clothing.
• Make sure window and door screens are in good repair to prevent
mosquito entry.
• Properly dispose of items that hold water, such as tin cans, plastic
containers, ceramic pots, or discarded tires.

• Clean roof gutters and downspouts for proper drainage.
• Turn over wheelbarrows, wading pools, boats, and canoes when not in
use.
• Change the water in birdbaths and pet dishes at least every three days.
• Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs; drain
water from pool covers.
• Trim tall grass, weeds, and vines since mosquitoes use these areas to
rest during hot daylight hours.
• Landscape to prevent water from pooling in low-lying areas.

The Department of Health Services has monitored the spread of West Nile virus
since 2001 among wild birds, horses, mosquitoes, and people. During 2002, the
state documented its first human infections and 52 cases were reported that year.
During 2016, 13 cases of West Nile virus infection were reported among Wisconsin
residents. West Nile virus infections in humans have been reported from June
through October; however, most reported becoming ill with West Nile virus in August
and September.

The Wisconsin Division of Public Health will continue surveillance for West Nile virus
until the end of the mosquito season.

For more information on West Nile virus:
https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/arboviral/westnilevirus.htm

SHARE