West Nile Virus (WNV) has been detected in Delaware for the first time this year in blood samples taken from DNREC's sentinel chickens that are monitored for mosquito-borne diseases.
The results were reported to DNREC July 26 by the Delaware Division of Public Health Laboratory. No cases of WNV have been found in wild birds, horses, or humans so far in Delaware this year.
As of July 23, the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has reported 31 human West Nile cases and three deaths nationwide in 14 states, with Mississippi, South Dakota and Nevada having the most cases to date. There are no approved WNV or eastern equine encephalitis (EEE ) vaccines for humans.
The majority of humans infected with WNV typically have symptoms similar to a mild flu, if they show any signs at all. Twenty percent develop a mild illness which includes fever, body and muscle aches, headache, nausea, vomiting and rash.
To reduce mosquito-breeding, people should drain or remove items that collect water, such as discarded buckets or containers, uncovered trash cans, stagnant birdbaths, unprotected rain barrels or cisterns, old tires, upright wheelbarrows, flowerpot liners, depressions in tarps covering boats, clogged rain gutters, downspout extenders, and unused swimming pools.
For more information: (302) 836-2555; (302) 422-1512 or visit cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/index.htm.