“Though the City of Milwaukee Health Department has not seen a confirmed case of West Nile virus in an individual this year, detection of the virus in mosquitoes serves as a reminder to all city residents to protect themselves against mosquito bites,” said Commissioner of Health Bevan K. Baker.
Most West Nile virus infections in Wisconsin typically occur between June and September, and are transmitted to humans through a mosquito bite. Not all mosquitoes carry the virus, and only approximately 20 percent of individuals bitten by an infected mosquito will develop symptoms such as a fever, rash, headache and joint pain.
Those most susceptible to serious illness and hospitalization associated with West Nile virus are individuals over 50 years of age, and those with underlying medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and hypertension. If you experience symptoms of West Nile virus, contact your health care provider.
The MHD reminds individuals to take steps to prevent mosquito bites, such as
- Limiting time outdoors at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active
- Applying an insect repellant with DEET, IR 3535, picardin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus according to product instructions
- Preventing mosquitoes from breeding by removing stagnant water from areas such as flowerpots, plastic containers, gutters and downspouts. Water in birdbaths and pet dishes should be changed every few days. Swimming pools and outdoor saunas and hot tubs should be cleaned and chlorinated
- Trimming tall grass, weeds and vines, as mosquitoes use these areas to rest during hot daylight hours, and landscaping to prevent water from pooling in low-lying areas
- Mosquito-proofing your home by fixing holes in screens, windows and doors
For more information, visit Milwaukee.gov/health.