NEW CUMBERLAND - One human case of West Nile Virus has been confirmed in West Virginia since Aug. 11, and seven possible cases are under investigation, according to the Hancock County Health Department.
The West Virginia Bureau for Public Health also confirmed two human cases of LaCrosse Encephalitis Virus and eight possible cases, said Jolene Zuros, the health department's environmental supervisor.
The bureau did not release the counties where the human cases were detected, and Hancock County has not reported any human mosquito-borne infections this year.
Zuros said it is important to take precautions against infections caused by mosquitoes. People over 50 are most at risk, as are those who spend time outdoors without protecting themselves.
Mosquito-borne viruses are spread through mosquito bites. They are not spread through person-to-person contact, Zuros said.
Most people who get West Nile Virus never have any symptoms at all, Zuros said. Some have mild symptoms, such as fever, headache and body aches, and they usually recover without any treatment.
A few people with West Nile Virus get sick enough to require hospital treatment, and, among those who develop a severe illness, 3 to 15 percent may die from the infection.
Zuros said only 1 percent of those who become infected with West Nile Virus develop a severe illness.
Zuros recommended taking the following precautions:
Remove standing water from around the premises;
Get rid of old tires and trash around the house;
Punch holes in the bottoms of trash cans to drain out any water;
Once or twice a week, clean and empty water from flowerpots, birdbaths, swimming pool covers, buckets, barrels and cans;
Check for clogged rain gutters, and clean them so they drain properly;
Maintain swimming pools, or drain them completely;
Maintain ditches so that stagnant water does not accumulate; and
Maintain septic systems properly.
For more information about West Nile Virus, call the health department at 304-564-3343.