West Nile Virus Comes To Kimberly; Two Other Jefferson County Locations

by | Sep 6, 2017 | 911, Birmingham, City News, County News, Get Smart, Jefferson, Public Safety

“There is no need for widespread panic.”

The Jefferson County Health Department (JCHD) held a press conference today regarding West Nile Virus.

THE JCHD announced that three residents in their County have tested positive for West Nile Virus.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), West Nile is a virus most commonly spread to people by mosquito bites. Cases of West Nile virus (WNV) occur during mosquito season, which starts in the summer and continues through fall.

West Nile Virus is transmitted by mosquitoes after they feed on birds infected with the virus. The same mosquitoes can then infect mammals, particularly humans and horses.

Roughly one in five people who are infected with West Nile Virus will develop symptoms the following systems:

• Fever
• Headache
• Body aches
• Joint pains
• Vomiting
• Diarrhea
• Rash

Less than 1 percent of patients develop a frank neurologic illness like as encephalitis or meningitis. Because the symptoms are more severe, these cases are more likely to be tested and reported.

There are no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat WNV.

Medical director for Jefferson County Health Department, Edward Khan, says two WNV patients remain in area hospitals.He said the infected residents live in Birmingham’s Southside, West End, and Kimberly.

The Alabama Department of Public Health notes that one person in Alabama has died from WNV so far in 2016 (no location provided).

A total of nine cases statewide have been reported and investigated by the Alabama Department of Public Health through August 25th.

During the press conference, Khan state fourteen people have been infected this year with West Nile Virus. He made it a point to say:

“There is no need for widespread panic.”

Residents are asked to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites.

Early diagnosis and rapid palliative medical treatment can reduce the risk of developing severe cases of WNV disease. The elderly and constitutionally infirm, as you would expect, are at greater risk for serious illness.

According to the CDCP, avoidance of mosquito bites is the best ‘cure’ for WNV. This precaution can be aided by:

• Use EPA-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535

• Wear long sleeves and pants during dawn and dusk

• Install or repair screens on windows and doors. Use air conditioning, if available.

• Wearing protective clothing to prevent mosquito bites. Wearing protective clothing to prevent mosquito bites.

• Empty standing water from items outside homes, such as flowerpots, buckets and children’s pools.

Kimberley, AL

West Nile Virus Comes To Kimberly; Two Other Jefferson County Locations

Staff Writers

The staff writers at Cullman Today are a collaborative group of citizen reporters sharing the writing of stories based upon their personal interests and work schedules.