FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 15, 2004) - Test results have confirmed Kentucky’s fourth human case of West Nile in 2004 in a Jefferson County resident.
So far this season, 18 birds in 11 counties and three horses have tested positive for West Nile virus. Positive mosquito pools have been found in Fayette and Marshall counties. West Nile virus is spread to humans and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito.
During the 2003 West Nile season in Kentucky 14 human cases were reported, including one death, as well as 102 positive horses, 111 positive birds and 10 positive mosquito pools. In 2002, Kentucky reported 75 human cases, including five deaths, as well as 693 positive birds, 513 positive horses and 55 positive mosquito pools.
Acting Public Health Commissioner Dr. William Hacker urged Kentuckians to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites and reduce standing water around their homes in order to prevent further West Nile cases.
Although the risk of people becoming seriously ill from West Nile virus infection is small, the Department for Public Health offers the following tips for reducing the risk of contact with the virus.
· Stay indoors at dawn, dusk and in the early evening when mosquitoes are most active.
· Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when you are outdoors.
· Spray clothing with repellents containing permethrin or DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) since mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing.
· Apply insect repellent sparingly to exposed skin. An effective repellent will contain 30 percent DEET for adults and around 10 percent DEET for children over 2 months of age. (DEET should not be applied to children less than 2 months of age.)
· Whenever you use an insecticide or insect repellent, be sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s Directions for Use printed on the product. NOTE: Vitamin B and “ultrasonic” devices are NOT effective in preventing mosquito bites.