Second death reported in Jackson County due to West Nile virus

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- In less than a month, a second resident in Jackson County, Missouri has died from the West Nile virus.

The first death reported from the virus was reported on Sept. 19.

The Jackson County Health Department said the virus is most commonly spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. The most effective way to prevent infection from West Nile virus is to prevent mosquito bites. Mosquitoes bite during the day and night. Residents can also lower their risk of bites by installing or fixing screens on windows and doors and emptying standing water from containers or places where water collects.

Jackson County Health Department Health Director Bridgette Shaffer said although we’re moving towards the end of warm weather, mosquitoes that could potentially carry West Nile virus remain active until the first hard frost.

“It’s important for everyone to continue taking precautions like using insect repellent, wearing long sleeve shirts and pants, and staying indoors between dusk and dawn.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 80% of people infected with WNV have no symptoms, while about 1 in 5 will develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Most people experiencing this type of West Nile virus will recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months. Though rare, those experiencing more severe symptoms such as high fever, severe headaches, neck stiffness, disorientation, tremors, convulsions, vision loss, and numbness or paralysis should seek medical attention immediately.

“While the risk of serious complications from West Nile virus may be minimal, severe illness can occur in people of any age,” said Director Shaffer. “All residents, especially those 60 and older or with certain medical conditions, should continue to take precautionary measure to prevent mosquito bites.”

For more information regarding West Nile virus, please visit the CDC’s CLICK OR TAP HERE

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