West Nile Virus Found in Montana Mosquitoes
West Nile Virus has been found in Northwestern U.S. states for a number of years now. Three counties in Montana have reported finding mosquitoes infected with the disease this month. They are Cascade, Sheridan and Yellowstone Counties. The Montana Department of Health and Human Services noted that no cases of of West Nile Virus have been found in humans, but finding the infected mosquito caused them to issue warnings about avoiding mosquitoes. DPHHS Communicable Disease Epidemiologist Erika Baldry said in a news release, "Late July and early August is when we typically see West Nile Virus activity pick up here in Montana." She said the virus doesn't immediately cause illness, and some illnesses have been reported as late as October. West Nile Virus will strike 1 in 5 people with a mild illness -headache, body aches, join pain, vomiting, diarrhea, rash. Sometimes, 1 in 150, the victim becomes severely ill. There is no available treatment at this time.
Montana DPHHS recommends the 4 D's of West Nile Virus prevention:
1. DEET: Use insect repellent such as DEET or picaridin
2. Drain: Drain standing water around your house to prevent mosquito breeding
3. Dawn/Dusk: Mosquitoes are most active during dawn and dusk. Stay inside or take precautions to prevent mosquito bites during these times
4. Dress: When possible, wear long sleeved shirts and pants to protect yourself from bites