ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. – Mosquitos in St. Charles County have tested positive for the West Wile virus.
The county’s Division of Environmental Health and Protection traps and tests mosquitos throughout the summer. One of the recent mosquito samples tested positive, though health officials did not specify where in the county the sample was collected.
The county says the discovery of West Nile is not cause for alarm but is reminding residents to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites.
St. Charles County has not recorded any positive human cases of West Nile so far this year.
The virus is spread through the bite of a mosquito that had been feeding on an infected bird.
You can reduce your risk of exposure by staying indoors when mosquitoes are most active, eliminating sources of standing water (clogged gutters, pool covers, potted plants, birdbaths, and tire swings), and keeping doors and windows shut in the evening. When outdoors, you can wear long clothing or wear insect repellent with DEET.
The most serious cases of West Nile can be deadly.
The elderly are more at risk of getting sick because their immune system is often weaker.
The CDC says that most people infected with West Nile virus do not develop any symptoms. About 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Serious illness, such as encephalitis and meningitis, is possible.