BOAZ, Ala. (WIAT) — The Alabama Department of Public Health confirmed the first case of West Nile virus in 2019 after a horse in the city of Boaz tested positive for the virus.
No human infections have been reported, but the positive result found provides as a reminder that West Nile carrying mosquitoes are circulating the area.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the best way to prevent mosquito-borne diseases is to avoid mosquito bites by using repellents, wearing long sleeves and pants during dawn and dusk hours, empty standing water such as flowerpots and buckets, and use air conditioning if available.
1 in 5 people who are infected will develop symptoms such as fever, head and body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. Fewer than 1% will develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues); however, because the symptoms are more severe, these cases are more likely to be tested and reported.
For more information on the virus, click here.