West Nile virus blamed for a death in Louisville

Health officials have confirmed that one person in Louisville has died from West Nile virus and one other has been infected with it, Billy Kobin reports for the Louisville Courier Journal. 

No details have been released about the patient’s death, due to patient privacy, Kobin reports.

Ann Robinson Burks, who was infected with the West Nile virus in September, told the Courier Journal that she is still fighting the virus.

Most people with the virus do not experience symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But about one in five who are infected will develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, join pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash.

Most people with the virus will recover completely, but the CDC warns that about one in 150 people with the virus can develop a serious illness, like inflammation of the spinal cord or brain. Older people and those with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease and organ transplants, are at greater risk for serious illness if they contract West Nile.

The West Nile virus is most commonly spread to humans by bites from infected mosquitoes.

There is no vaccine or specific antiviral treatment for the virus. To reduce your exposure to mosquitoes minimize your time outside when mosquitoes are most prevalent, such as dawn, dusk and early evening, wear clothing that covers your skin when outdoors, apply mosquito repellent and to cover your infant’s stroller or playpen with mosquito netting.

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