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Protect Yourself From the West Nile Virus

By: Erica Dao
By: Erica Dao

The West Nile virus is transmitted by mosquitoes mainly to birds. In rare cases, humans get the virus when mosquitoes bite them. So far, there have been no cases in Eau Claire county this year.
Some typical symptoms include: high fever, swollen glands, disorientation, and vomiting.
Environmental health specialist Ken Jain says about 20 percent of people who get the virus show little or no symptoms and get well on their own.
"It's a virus. It has to run its course. It's self limiting. It will go away eventually and with most people it will leave no permanent damage,” said Ken Jain.
If someone has the virus, they can't pass it to anyone else. The only way is by getting bit by an infected mosquito.
Jain says the best way to protect yourself from possibly getting the virus is simply by wearing insect repellent. Another thing people can do is drain any standing water near their homes.
"It's not a mosquito that's going to breed in clean water. It basically does in very contaminated water, heavily polluted water to reproduce with a lot of organic material."
The Eau Claire City-County Health Department will trap mosquitoes to test for the West Nile virus. But Jain says they probably won't find many because of the lack of rainfall.


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