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Health officials looking into Sedgwick County’s first reported West Nile case this year

Health officials said Friday that they are investigating a case of West Nile virus in Sedgwick County.

County officials said the victim is an adult resident of the county. It is the county’s first reported case this year, they said. West Nile virus cases are most common in late summer and early fall.

The case has been reported to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, said Jill Tinsley, spokeswoman for the county.

The county posted a written statement about the case, along with this advice: “Most people with West Nile virus infection do not have any symptoms. About 20 percent of people infected experience mild symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, nausea and vomiting. Less than 1 percent of people develop severe illness that may require hospitalization. Severe symptoms include neck stiffness, disorientation, tremors, muscle weakness, numbness, paralysis and even coma or death.”

People with symptoms should seek medical attention immediately, the statement said.

Earlier this month, the KDHE reported that an adult from Atchison County was the state’s first case of the virus this year.

KDHE officials said there were 57 cases of West Nile virus in Kansas in 2012, the most since the virus was first found in Kansas a decade earlier.

County officials said mosquito-trapping results in Sedgwick County confirm there are high numbers of mosquitoes and that some carry West Nile virus. Results can be found on the KDHE website at www.kdheks.gov.

The county statement said that more information about West Nile virus and how to reduce mosquito populations, including a downloadable poster, can be found on the Sedgwick County website at www.sedgwickcounty.org.

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