West Nile Virus
8:59 am
Thu September 8, 2011

Wellston boy is St. Louis County's first case of West Nile

Despite cooler weather over the past several days, it's still mosquito season, and that means there's the potential for West Nile Virus cases.

The St. Louis County Department of Health has reported its first suspected human case. A 12-year-old boy from Wellston was briefly hospitalized with West Nile symptoms, though the department says he has returned to normal activities.

The county says there was one human case last year.

Serious cases of West Nile Virus are rare in humans, says county health director Dolores Gunn, but residents still need to limit their exposure to mosquitoes as much as possible by taking the following steps:

  • At least once a week, drain water from garbage cans, buckets, toys, flowerpots, wading pools, pet dishes, and other objects that collect water. Change water in birdbaths at least once a week.
  • Keep gutters cleaned out, and repair any tears in door and window screens.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and light colors outdoors.
  • Spray clothing with repellents containing DEET or picaridin, making sure to follow the directions on the label.
  • Look for products containing the active ingredient methoprene or Bti (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis) to place in birdbaths or ponds, to prevent mosquitoes from developing.
  • Flexible drainage pipe is commonly used to drain water from downspouts. A big drawback is that it holds water and breeds mosquitoes if not properly sloped when installed