Man Dies of West Nile Virus

A Bucks County man has died from the West Nile Virus, according to a release from the state Department of Environmental Protection.

It is the first confirmed death from the virus this year in Pennsylvania.

The man first became ill Aug. 20, according to department spokeswoman Amanda Witman. She did not disclose the municipality where he resided, his age nor when he died, citing confidentiality.

So far this year, seven people from Pennsylvania have contracted West Nile Virus, including a woman who contracted the virus in Florida, Witman said. Last year there were 60 cases, and four people died.

Prevention and Symptoms

The Centers for Disease Control recommends using an EPA-certified mosquito repellant if you’re going to be outdoors, and lists some additional prevention tips on their website, including:

When weather permits, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants outdoors.
Place mosquito netting over infant carriers when you are outdoors.
At least once or twice a week, empty water from flower pots, pet food and water dishes, birdbaths, swimming pool covers, buckets, barrels, and cans.
The CDC website lists varying degrees of symptoms, including:

Serious Symptoms in a Few People. About one in 150 people will develop high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, and paralysis.
Milder Symptoms in Some People. Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected have symptoms such as fever, headache, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or skin rash on the chest, stomach and back.
No Symptoms in Most People. Approximately 80 percent of people infected with WNV will not show any symptoms.

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Eric Write head editor and chief at The Pluto Daily