BILLINGS, Mont. - The Wyoming Department of Health is reporting the state's first case of West Nile virus this year.
WDH reports the first case involves an adult in Goshen County, Wyoming. The department said mosquitoes spread West Nile virus when they feed on infected birds and then bite people, animals or other birds. WDH epidemiologist Katie Bryan said Wyoming residents should remember to take steps to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites.
WDH said most people infected with the virus don't have symptoms. Those that do get ill get symptoms that include fever, headache, body aches, skin rash and swollen lymph nodes. A small number develop West Nile neuroinvasive disease. Symptoms of that disease are more serious and include severe headache, fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions and paralysis.
WDH said people should follow the"5 Ds." The first two are "dawn" and "dusk." Mosquitoes prefer to feed at dawn or dusk so avoid spending time outside during these times. The next is "dress." Try to wear light-colored clothing covering your arms and legs. Number four is "drain." Mosquitoes breed in shallow, stagnant water so drain or remove that water. The final "D" is "DEET." Use an insect repellent containing DEET. But WDH said other insect repellents such as Picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus can also be effective.