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West Nile Virus Cases On the Rise in Wyoming

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Devid McNew, Getty Images

The number of West Nile virus (WNV) cases reported to the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) this year has grown to 13, including a Park County man who died.

Spokeswoman Kim Deti says the state has definitely seen an uptick in WNV cases in Wyoming over the last few weeks. Ten confirmed cases have been reported so far from Fremont County, one each from Platte and Natrona counties, and one fatal case from Park County. The Wyoming Department of Health is following up on additional potential cases. In Wyoming last year, seven human WNV cases were reported with no deaths. Deti says since WNV first appeared in Wyoming in 2002, the annual numbers of reported human cases have ranged from two with no deaths to 393 and nine deaths.

Because WNV transmission is still possible into Wyoming’s fall months, Deti suggested people continue to take the following precautions:

1) DAWN and 2) DUSK – Most mosquito species prefer to feed at dawn or dusk, so avoid spending time outside during these times.

3) DRESS – Wear shoes, socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt outdoors or when mosquitoes are most active. Clothing should be light-colored and made of tightly woven materials.

4) DRAIN – Mosquitoes breed in shallow, stagnant water. Reduce the amount of standing water by draining and/or removing it.

5) DEET – Use an insect repellent containing DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide). When using DEET, be sure to read and follow the label instructions. Other insect repellents such as Picaridin (KBR 3023) or oil of lemon eucalyptus can also be effective.

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