DPH Announces Second Human Case of West Nile Virus in Delaware

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It's a virus that can spread to humans through bites from infected mosquitos.

County Public Health Agency officials confirmed the local case, but they did not disclose the patient's city of residence or other details, citing patient-privacy rights.

A total of 401 human WNV infections have been reported in Europe with 22 deaths according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

"Further cases are expected to be diagnosed in the coming period and West Nile virus infections are likely to occur in other geographical areas", it said. Like WNV, Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) can adversely affect both humans and horses - EEE is more severe than WNV, but fortunately much rarer.

Officials are urging people to avoid the outdoors at dusk and dawn, and to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and trousers if outside during those periods.

Apply Insect Repellent when Outdoors.

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Maintain window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes outside. The bugs become infected when they bite a bird that carries the virus, like ravens, crows or jays. Avoid being outside at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active if possible.

Wear loose-fitting clothes with long sleeves and trousers.

Eliminate standing water: Mosquitoes need water to lay eggs. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] according to the instructions on the product label.

Prevent mosquitos breeding near your home. If they're not, fix any broken screens as needed to keep the pests out of your house. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change water in birdbaths frequently. Unused swimming pools should be drained and kept dry during the mosquito season. The biggest number of cases has been registered in Serbia, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has revealed. EURACTIV Serbia reports.

More information about West Nile is available here.