BOISE – Health officials say an Ada County woman in her 50s is the first positive human case of the West Nile virus in the county this year.
Although the woman is a resident of Ada County, she believes she was infected during a recent visit to Valley County where she spends most weekends in the outdoors.
West Vile virus is a potentially serious illness that is usually spread by a mosquito bite.
Mosquitoes in 12 Idaho counties, including Ada and Valley counties, have tested positive for the virus.
“Nearly every human case of West Nile Virus this year has occurred in southwest Idaho. We know the disease is here.” said Kimberly Link, Program Manager for Communicable Disease Control at Central District Health Department. “This case should serve as a reminder to everyone, but especially to outdoor enthusiasts, that they need to make every effort to keep from getting bitten.”
There have been a total of eight people infected by the West Nile virus in Idaho this year.
Last week, Ada County Weed and Pest Control conducted aerial spraying to combat the high number of mosquito pools testing positive for the disease.
Most people infected with West Nile virus show no symptoms. In more serious cases symptoms can include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach, and back. In some cases the virus can cause severe illness, especially in people over the age of 50.