June 14, 2013

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

KDHE Urges Public to Take Precautions to Prevent West Nile Virus

TOPEKA, Kan.—The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Division of Public Health has seen a substantial increase in the number of mosquitoes within the past week. These mosquitoes can potentially spread West Nile virus.

In 2012, there were 57 cases of West Nile virus in the state, the most cases since the virus first made its way into Kansas in 2002. There are currently no reported cases of West Nile virus in 2013. In addition to tracking cases of human illnesses caused by West Nile virus, KDHE assesses the potential for West Nile virus by conducting limited mosquito surveillance, including laboratory testing.

Symptoms of West Nile virus infection range from a slight headache and low-grade fever to swelling of the brain or brain tissue and, in rare cases, death. People who have had West Nile virus before are considered immune.

KDHE recommends the following precautions to protect against West Nile virus:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides the following web page with additional information about West Nile Virus and preventing mosquito bites: