West Nile Virus Surfaces Early in Montgomery County

A 60-year-old woman is the first reported case of the West Nile virus in Montgomery County this year.

She is in stable condition and recovering at home, according to the Montgomery County Public Health District.

Last year, the county's first West Nile case was in August.

.According to Centers for Disease Control, the most effective way to avoid West Nile Virus disease and Zika is to prevent mosquito bites.

To avoid bites:

--Use insect repellants that contain DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products.

--Weather permitting, wear long sleeves, pants and socks when outdoors. Many mosquitoes are most active from dusk to dawn.

--Mosquito-proof your home. Empty any standing water from flower pots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires, birdbaths and any other items holding water on a regular basis.

West Nile virus infection can cause serious disease and is most commonly spread by infected mosquitoes. People typically develop symptoms between 3 and 14 days after they are bitten.

According to CDC approximately 80 percent of people who are infected will not show any symptoms at all, but there is no way to know in advance if you will develop the illness or not.

Milder symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. These symptoms can last up to several weeks.

Serious symptoms that account for less than 1 percent of those infected can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures or paralysis. These symptoms can last for several weeks and neurological effects may be permanent.If you develop symptoms of severe WNV illness such as unusually severe headaches or confusion seek medical attention immediately. The majority of milder WNV illnesses improve on their own.

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