West Nile virus deteced in mosquitoes in Doddridge County

WEST UNION — Mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus have been detected for the first time in Doddridge County.

Random testing was conducted in August, and mosquitoes obtained at the pond on the Doddridge Elementary/Middle School property tested positive for the disease, said Debbie Davis, Doddridge County Health Department administrator.

Mosquito dunks — pest control items that target the larvae before they grow to the point that they can produce the disease — have been placed in the area, she said.

It was the first time the department has tested for the virus, but Davis said its presence isn’t a reason to panic, nor is it something to be ignored.

“West Nile virus is likely around everywhere … so people should take precautions,” she said.

These include using insect repellent and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, as well as eliminating standing water where mosquitoes breed, she said.

Most people infected with the virus do not show symptoms, while about one in five develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About one in 150 can develop a severe illness affecting the central nervous system, such as encephalitis or meningitis.

More information is available online at www.cdc.gov/westnile/index.html.

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