Kansas reports first case of West Nile for 2017

Kansas reports first case of West Nile for 2017
Posted at 12:32 PM, Jun 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-09 13:32:41-04

The first case of West Nile virus in Kansas for 2017 has already been reported.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment says a person in Barton County has been diagnosed with West Nile virus. Additionally, officials found four Culex species mosquito pools that tested positive for West Nile in Johnson and Shawnee counties. Two birds in Shawnee County also tested positive for the disease. 

A release from the KDHE says cases are more common in late summer and early fall. Last year, 34 cases of the virus were reported, 21 people were hospitalized and five died from the virus. 

KDHE also notes that the Culex is known to carry the West Nile virus but is not known to transmit Zika. 

In a statement, KDHE laid out several steps you can take to prevent the spread of the disease.

  • When you are outdoors, use insect repellent containing an EPA-registered active ingredient on skin and clothing, including DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535. Follow the directions on the package.
  • Many mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn. Be sure to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants at these times, or consider staying indoors during these hours.
  • The elderly or immunocompromised should consider limiting their exposure outside during dusk and dawn when the Culex species mosquitos are most active.
  • Make sure you have good screens on your windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
  • Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets and barrels. Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out. Keep children's wading pools empty and on their sides when they are not being used.