KDHE: Most of Kansas at high risk for West Nile Virus

KDHE: Most of Kansas at high risk for West Nile Virus
Published: Jun. 30, 2021 at 10:11 AM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Most of Kansas is now at high risk for West Nile Virus, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

All of Kansas, except for the northwest corner of the state, is at a high risk of the virus. The northwest corner is at moderate risk.

KDHE uses three factors in their risk model: temperature, mosquito surveillance data, and human cases of West Nile.

Most of the state is under a high risk due to the higher average daily temperature in previous weeks and the mosquitos that carry the virus that have been trapped.

“Typically they will go from an egg to an adult within 7-10 days and the female lays eggs about every 3 days and that will be 100-300 at a time,” said Matt McKernan with the Sedgwick County Extension Office.

The state health department says to avoid mosquitos, wear repellant, long sleeves and pants when weather permits, dump standing water and use mosquito netting near play areas.

“Typically, look for insect repellant with DEET as the active ingredient. And typically, between 20 and 30 percent DEET is going to be most effective for a long period of time,” said McKernan.

For older residents or immunocompromised residents, the department advises limiting outdoor activity during peak mosquito times, from dusk to dawn.

The CDC says if you do get West Nile, some of the symptoms include high fever, headache, body aches, vomiting and rash. Recovery could take weeks or months. Some people may not develop any symptoms at all.

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