First Human Case of West Nile Virus in Wisconsin
Continue to prevent mosquito bites until the first hard frost
FROM THE WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES
The Wisconsin Department of Health services (DHS) is reminding people to protect themselves from mosquito bites following the first confirmed human case this year of West Nile virus (WNV) in a Sheboygan County resident. Despite cooler temperatures, mosquito activity and the risk of WNV will continue until the first hard frost (temperatures below 28 degrees for at least four consecutive hours). Cases of WNV have also been reported in three animals in Wisconsin, two horses and a bird. These animal cases were located in Trempealeau, Monroe, and Milwaukee counties.
“This report of the first case of West Nile Virus in a person is a reminder of the continued importance of taking precautions to prevent mosquito bites and the viruses they carry as we move into the fall,” said State Health Officer Paula Tran. “While West Nile virus and other viruses spread by mosquitoes pose a risk to all Wisconsinites, people who have weakened immune systems are at the greatest risk for serious illness.”
WNV is spread to humans, horses, birds, and other animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes acquire WNV by feeding on infected birds. The virus is not spread directly from person to person, animal to animal, or animal to person.