West Nile Virus Latest Victim: Man From North Dakota, Second To Die From WNV In State

First Posted: Sep 21, 2016 01:47 AM EDT

A man from North Dakota has been announced to have died of the West Nile Virus. Reports said that this is the second WNV-related death of the state, according to the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH).

Health experts say that a normal mosquito bite could turn into something much more fatal if you have been infected with West Nile virus. The virus is transmitted by mosquitoes after they bite an infected bird and then bite a human. This may have caused a lot of people to panic at the thought of being infected, but reports say that not everyone who gets bitten will get the disease. However, the same cannot be said for those who have a weak immune system, as well as elderly. Also, according to the National Institutes of Health, the recovery can be very good once the infection is diagnosed and treated quickly.

Valley News Live also reported that Laura Cronquist, an epidemiologist with the NDDoH said, "This death is an unfortunate reminder that West Nile virus can cause very severe disease, especially for those over 60." She also said that until there is a hard frost to get rid of the remaining mosquito population, the risk will still be present and people should continue to use personal precautions.

At present, there have already been 60 human West Nile virus (WNV) cases reported in 24 different counties in 2016 alone. Last year, North Dakota had 23 WNV cases and only one WNV-related death. Among the 60 human reported cases this year, 20 percent are said to have developed a more serious form of the WNV disease which causes neurologic infection. Health experts said that recovering from sever WNV disease could last weeks or even months. However, some of the neurologic effects may be permanent, reported Outbreak News Today.

Meanwhile, it is important to watch out for the different signs and symptoms of the WNV. These include fever, headache, body aches and rash. There have also been a number of people infected with the virus experienced mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. According to Sun Herald, in some severe cases, symptoms such as neck stiffness, disorientation, tremors, coma, and paralysis could happen and these people should immediately see a physician immediately. Statistics show that about 10 percent of those who develop neurologic infection due to West Nile virus will die from the infection.

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