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Waukesha, Milwaukee monitoring two cases of West Nile Virus

"The bugs are the worst in the morning and at night," said Lisa Stuttgen.

The Waukesha mom is keeping her two boys inside when mosquitos are at their worse and keeping the bug spray close after she found out someone in the county got West Nile Virus.

"Waukesha County Public Health was recently notified a person in their 50s tested positive for West Nile Virus. We want to notify people the virus is here. We're aware of that," said Benjamin Jones, Health Officer of the Public Health Division Waukesha County.

Waukesha County announced they have a confirmed case Friday. Thursday, Milwaukee County announced they were monitoring a probable case of West Nile Virus.

In a release, Waukesha County wrote:

"Those who become ill may develop a fever, headache, and rash that lasts a few days. Symptoms may begin between 3 to 15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. In rare cases, WNV can cause severe disease with symptoms such as muscle weakness, stiff neck, disorientation, tremors, convulsions, paralysis, and coma. Older adults and people with compromised immune systems are at an increased risk of severe disease from the virus."

"It's a member of the group of viruses that includes Dengue, Zika, Yellow Fever," said UW-M Asst. Professor Charles Wimpee.

The microbiologist teaches his students about viruses.

Health officials report about 80 percent of people infected by West Nile Virus don't show symptoms, and they won't need treatment. In fact, there is no treatment for West Nile Virus. Doctors can only treat the symptoms.

"It's a race between the virus and your immune system," said Wimpee.

But for the 20 percent of people who do show symptoms, it is important to see a doctor. The virus could be serious for the elderly or those with compromised immune systems.

"It's the odd virus like West Nile that cause disease. Most viruses don't cause noticeable symptoms and West Nile is one of those that has symptoms. It makes you sick, and people with compromised immune systems, it can be very dangerous," said Wimpee.

In 2017 there were 51 human cases of West Nile reported in Wisconsin.

Waukesha Public Health Officer Benjamin Jones says the cases do not constitute a health crisis, and he doesn't want to alarm people, but he does want to warn people the virus is in the area, and people should try to avoid being bit, which is the only way to prevent West Nile.

Here are their suggestions to avoid mosquito bites:

• Limit time spent outside at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.

• Apply an insect repellant with DEET, IR3535, picaridin, or oil of lemon

eucalyptus to exposed skin and clothing.

• Make sure window and door screens are in good repair to prevent mosquito entry.

• Prevent mosquitoes from breeding by removing stagnant water from items around

your property, such as tin cans, plastic containers, flower pots, discarded tires,

roof gutters, and downspouts.

• Turn over wheelbarrows, wading pools, boats, and canoes when not in use.

• Change the water in bird baths and pet dishes at least every three days.

• Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs; drain water

from pool covers.

• Landscape to prevent water from pooling in low-lying areas, and trim tall grass,

weeds, and vines since mosquitoes use these areas to rest during hot daylight

hours.

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