Mosquitoes can carry the West Nile Virus, and they can infect humans with the disease.

Unfortunately, that's exactly what they're doing.

It's been confirmed that a man in Kootenai County is indeed infected and currently recovering from West Nile neuroinvasive disease. While humans being infected with West Nile isn't unheard of, the scary part is this is the first documented case of human infection in Northern Idaho since 2003.

Dr. Leslie Tengelsen, a state public health veterinarian, elaborates:

West Nile activity has ramped up significantly during the last few weeks, so people are strongly encouraged to fight the bite of mosquitoes to protect themselves and their families. This is a good warning for all of us to take protective measures, including wearing insect repellent and reducing mosquito habitat, such as standing water, around our gardens and homes.

In 2016, there were nine cases of humans infected with West Nile virus.

If you're looking to protect yourself from the disease, there's some simple steps you can take:

  • Avoid mosquitoes whenever possible
  • Apply insect repellent when outside
  • Keep screen doors in working order to keep insects out
  • Eliminate or change out any standing water around your home, including bird baths, hot tubs, and puddles

 

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