West Nile cases likely across Kansas, health experts warn

WICHITA, Kan. With the official start to summer approaching, medical professional say they're likely to see cases of West Nile Virus across Kansas this year, recognizing that many counties are at a "moderate risk" for the virus.

Cropped Photo: Erik F. Brandsborg / CC BY-SA 2.0

Health officials say the amount of rainfall an area receives determines the mosquito population and in turn, the risk for West Nile Virus.

One expert says there is no way to tell which mosquitoes may carry the virus and it's best to protect yourself at all times.

"Only one out of 150 people who are infected with the virus will have significant symptoms," says infection disease doctor Tom Moore. "Those symptoms include fever (and) headaches."

Moore says the headaches associated with West Nile Virus include a condition called "photo phobia," where people infected are extra sensitive to light and sound.

While many mosquitoes come out near dawn or dusk, Moore warns that mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus usually come out during the day. He also says the best way to protect yourself is by coating your skin with insect repellent that contains deet.