City of Milwaukee Health Department reports mosquitoes test positive for West Nile Virus

MILWAUKEE – The City of Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) has confirmed that mosquito surveillance in the city has indicated the presence of West Nile virus. The mosquitoes collected and tested as part of the MHD’s seasonal West Nile Virus surveillance efforts.

“Though the City of Milwaukee Health Department has not seen a confirmed case of West Nile virus in an individual this year, detection of the virus in mosquitoes serves as a reminder to all city residents to protect themselves against mosquito bites,” said Commissioner of Health Bevan K. Baker.

Most West Nile virus infections in Wisconsin typically occur between June and September and are transmitted to humans through a mosquito bite. Not all mosquitoes carry the virus, and only approximately 20 percent of individuals bitten by an infected mosquito will develop symptoms such as a fever, rash, headache, and joint pain. Those most susceptible to serious illness and hospitalization associated with West Nile virus are individuals over 50 years of age, and those with underlying medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and hypertension. If you experience symptoms of West Nile virus, contact your health care, provider.

The MHD reminds individuals to take steps to prevent mosquito bites, such as:

  • - Limiting time outdoors at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active
  • - Applying an insect repellent with DEET, IR 3535, picardin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus according to product instructions
  • - Preventing mosquitoes from breeding by removing stagnant water from areas such as flowerpots, plastic containers, gutters, and downspouts. Water in birdbaths and pet dishes should be changed every few days Swimming pools and outdoor saunas and hot tubs should be cleaned and chlorinated
  • - Trimming tall grass, weeds, and vines as mosquitoes use these areas to rest during hot daylight hours, and landscaping to prevent water from pooling in low-lying areas
  • - Mosquito-proofing your home by fixing holes in screens, windows, and doors

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