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Human case of West Nile virus confirmed in Brown Co.

Image courtesy MGN Online.

BROWN COUNTY (WLUK) -- One person in Brown County has come down with West Nile virus, county health officials say.

It's the first human case of the virus in the county this year. Human cases were confirmed in Oconto and Fond du Lac counties last month.

West Nile virus is spread by mosquitoes, and health officials say the chances of a person catching it are low. Most people who do get the virus won't experience any symptoms. While symptoms are typically mild, West Nile virus can in rare cases cause severe symptoms including muscle weakness, stiff neck, disorientation, tremors, convulsions, paralysis and coma.

Older people and those with compromised immune systems are at greater risk for severe disease.

The Brown County Public Health Division recommends these steps to protect yourself:

  • Limit time spent outside at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.

  • Apply an EPA-registered insect repellent 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.

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