West Nile virus case reported in Collier County

Health officials on Collier County reported a human West Nile virus (WNV) case Thursday. The case come two weeks after the Florida Department of Health in Collier County reported several mosquito pools have tested positive for West Nile virus.

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There is a heightened concern additional persons will become ill. Collier Mosquito Control District and DOH-Collier continue surveillance and prevention efforts.

Officials remind residents and visitors to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and to take basic precautions to help limit exposure.

This is the second human WNV case in Florida this year, following a case reported in Miami-Dade County in July.

West Nile Virus is a type of virus that mostly infects birds but can also infect horses and humans.

West Nile virus is typically spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Although it can cause severe disease, only about 1 in 5 of those infected will develop any symptoms at all. Those who do develop symptoms usually experience a flu-like illness including fever, headache, body aches and muscle weakness.

Rarely, about 1 in 150 people infected can develop encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain or of the spinal cord). This more severe form of the disease can present with headache, neck stiffness, vision loss, paralysis and other neurologic symptoms. These severe cases can lead to very prolonged illness, permanent paralysis or death.

Those who are over 60 years old, have underlying medical conditions or have depressed immune systems are at higher risk for the more severe form of West Nile virus.

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